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BX 9A22 .G5 , ^ ^^^^ 
Girardeau, John L. 1825- 


Calvinism and evangelical 
















Copyright, 1890, 






Introductory Remarks 9 

Sect. I. Doctrine of Election Stated and Proved . 14 
II. Doctrine of Reprobation Stated and Proved. 161 

III. Objections from the Morai. Attributes of 

God Answered 178 

Preliminary Remarks 178 

From Divine Justice 184 

From Divine Goodness 274 

From Divine Wisdom 325 

From Divine Veracity 334 

IV. Objections from the Moral, Agency of Man 

Answered ..... 394 

Transitional, Observations 4^3 


iv Contents. 


Sect. I. Cai^vinistic Doctrine of Justification Stated. 417 
II. Ground of Justification 423 

III. Nature of Justification 482 

IV. . Condition of Justification 522 


During the temporary occupation of the pulpit 
of the First Presbyterian Church in this city, a few 
years ago, some of the young members of that church 
requested me to instruct a Bible-class, on Sabbath 
nights, in the distinctive doctrines of the Calvinistic 
faith. A large number were enrolled, and the un- 
derstandincr was that the members of the class would 
be entitled to a free interrogation of the instructor. 
Unexpectedly, from the very first, a large promiscu- 
ous congregation attended, and the liberty to ask 
questions was used by outsiders, the design appearing 
to be to start difficulties rather than to seek light, 
and to convert the exercise into a debate. To avoid 
this result, and to treat objections in a more logical 
and orderly manner than was possible in extempor- 
ized replies to the scattering fire of miscellaneous 
inquiries, resort ere-long was had to written lectures. 
Notwithstanding this change, the attendance and 
the interest suffered no abatement, but rather in- 
creased — a fact which seemed to militate against the 
common opinion that doctrinal discussions would 
prove dry and unacceptable to a popular audience. 
The lectures, which were prepared not without pains- 
taking labor, suggested the production of a formal 
treatise on the subjects which had occupied all the 
available time — namely. Election and Reprobation, 
with special reference to the Evangelical Arminian 
theology. This was done, and a discussion of the 


vi Preface. 

doctrine of Justification, in relation to that theology, 
was added. 

Another reason which conduced to the preparation 
of this work was the conviction that there is room 
for it. A distinguished writer has remarked, that 
one who solicits the attention of the public by pub- 
lishing a book should have something to say which 
had not been said before. This opinion, no doubt, 
needs qualification; but it applies, to some extent, in 
the present instance. The ground covered by the 
controversy between Calvinists and Evangelical Ar- 
minians has not been completely occupied. John 
Owen's "Display of Arminianism," and similar 
works of the Puritan period, antedated the rise of 
Evangelical Arminianism. Jonathan Edwards was a 
contemporary of John Wesley. Principal Hill's com- 
parison of Calvinism and Arminianism had reference 
mainly to the Remonstrant system, as developed by 
Episcopius and Curcellseus, Grotius and Limborch. 
The same is, in a measure, true of Principal Cun- 
ningham's comparative estimate of Calvinism and 
Arminiauism in his Historical Theology. The com- 
parative treatment of Calvinism and modern, Evan- 
gelical Arminianism, contained in works on Syste- 
matic Theology composed in recent times, are, how- 
ever able, necessarily brief and somewhat meagre. 
Such works as those of Green, Annan and Fairchild 
hardly profess to be severely analytical or exhaustive 
of any one topic. Dr. N. L. Rice's "God Sovereign 
and Man Free," although a valuable discussion, is 
brief, and leaves much to be said even in regard to 
the question it handles. There seemed, therefore, 
to be room for further discussion concerning the 

Preface, vii 

relative merits of Calvinism and Evangelical Armin- 
ianisni, and it is hoped that the present attempt will 
not be considered arrogant on the ground of being 

Still another incentive leading to the production of 
this volume has been furnished by the taunt ever and 
anon issuing from Arminian sources that "Calvinism 
is dying, ^' and the sneering intimation of recent 
works — Dr. Miner Raymond's "Systematic Theol- 
ogy," for example — that but few people of sense 
now pretend to hold some of its peculiar and mon- 
strous tenets. An honest indignation justifies the 
disproof of such contemptuous allegations ; and, how- 
ever inadequate may be the present defence of the 
venerable theology thus belittled, it is prompted by 
the profound conviction that the system known as 
Calvinism expresses the faith of martyrs, confessors 
and reformers, the faith in which the majority of 
Christ's true people have lived and died ; that it is 
the truth of God ; and that, instead of dying, it is as 
immortal as that Inspired Word which liveth and 
abideth forever. If opponents deem it to be dying, 
and imagine that they can hasten its coveted disso- 
lution, they will find its supposed dying-chamber an 
arena of vigorous contest, and its fancied death-bed 
a redoubt that neither they nor the powers of hell 
can carry by storm. 

The work does not assume to cover the whole field 
of the controversy of which it treats, to discuss artic- 
ulately all the distinctive views of the systems com- 
pared. It is its purpose to bring out their radical 
and controlling principles, in themselves and in tjieir 
necessary connections, to confront them with each 

viii Preface. 

other, and to subject them to a searching examina- 

I have endeavored to write in a calm and dispas- 
sionate temper, consistent with sincere, brotherly 
love to those of God's people from whose views I 
differ ; and, in submitting the results of long reflec- 
tion, embodied in this volume, to the judgment of 
candid readers, I invoke for them a like calm and 
dispassionate consideration. 

The work is humbly committed to Him whose 
truth it professes to vindicate, with the prayer that 
He will deign to employ it for His glory and the 
good of His Church. Especially would I be grate- 
ful, if He would be pleased to use it for arresting, 
at least in some degree, the tendency now manifested 
on the part of some professed Calvinists seriously to 
modify the doctrines of the Calvinistic Symbols. 

C01.UMBIA, S. C. , Jan. 18^ i8go. 






Predestination, in the Scriptures and in theo- 
logical treatises, has two senses — one wide or general, 
the other narrow or special. In the wide or general 
sense, it signifies the decrees of God, terminating 
either efficiently or permissively on all beings, acts and 
events. The universe, intelligent and unintellig-ent, 
is its object. It is the plan in accordance with which 
God creates and governs all finite beings, and all 
their properties and actions. In the narrow or special 
sense, it signifies the decrees of God, terminating on 
the destinies of intelligent, moral beings — angels and 
men. In a still more restricted sense, it signifies the 
decrees of God terminating on the destinies of men. 
In this last sense, predestination is, by Calvinistic 
theologians, regarded as a generic decree including 
under it Election and Reprobation as specific decrees: 


lo Calvinism and Eva7igelical Arminianism. 

the former predestinating some human beings, with- 
out regard to their merit, to salvation, in order to the 
glorificationof God's sovereign grace ; the latter fore- 
ordaining some human beings, for their sin, to de- 
struction, in order to the glorification of God's retri- 
butive justice. 

The design of the First Part of this discussion is 
the exposition and defence of the Calvinistic doc- 
trines of Election and Reprobation ; special reference 
being had to the objections advanced against them 
by the Evangelical Arminian Theology, which will 
be put upon trial and summoned to answer for the 
difficulties inherent in itself This special examina- 
tion of that theology is warranted upon two grounds, 
— first, because it proposes to found its proofs directly 
upon the Scriptures, and is on that account the most 
formidable, as it is the most obtrusive, assailant of 
the Calvinistic scheme ; secondly, because there is a 
demand in our own times for a careful consideration 
of the Evangelical Arminian doctrines, as differing 
in some respects from those of the Remonstrants, and 
as now having had sufficient opportunity to develop 
themselves into a coherent and peculiar theological 
system, commanding the suffrages of a large section 
of the Church of Christ. Did the present school of 
Arminians precisely coincide in doctrine with that 
earlier one which articulated its theology in opposi- 
tion to the Synod of Dort, it might well be regarded 
as a superfluous office to subject its views to a partic- 
ular examination. But the systeui of Wesley and 
Watson is not identical with that of Episcopius and 
Limborch ; and the polemic treatises of the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries are not altogether 

Introductory Remarks. ii 

suited to meet the present phases of the Arminian 

Ill addition to these considerations it deserves to be 
noticed, that at the time of the Remonstrant contro- 
versy the defenders of Calvinism swung between the 
Supralapsarian and Sublapsarian methods of conceiv- 
ing the divine decrees. Francis Junius, for instance, 
in his discussion with James Arminius, on Predesti- 
nation, endeavored to vindicate both these modes of 
viewing the decrees as reducible to unity upon the 
same doctrine. This placed him at a disadvantage 
which was observed by the keen eye of his subtle 
antagonist, and employed against him not without 
considerable effect. And wdiile the Synod of Dort 
was Sublapsarian, it so happened that the chief oppo- 
nents of the Remonstrants were pronounced Supralap- 
sarians ; as, for example, Gomarus, Voetius, Twisse, 
and Perkins. The natural result was, that the type 
of doctrine which the Arminian divines felt called 
upon to attack was the Supralapsarian. To this day, 
the objections urged by Arminians against the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine of decrees are mainly directed against 
the Supralapsarian and Necessitarian theories. But 
it must be borne in mind that the doctrines of Cal- 
vinism have been always more or less cast in the 
mould of Sublapsarianism. They have had a definite 
development, according to that type, in the Symbolic 
P'ormularies of the Reformed Church, and in the 
works of representative theologians. This frees the 
Calvinist from the embarrassment resulting from the 
attempt to defend differing and incongruous views of 
the divine decrees, and gives him the advantage of 
appealing to the Calvinistic standards, as being either 

12 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

implicitly or explicitly Sublapsarian in their utter- 

The charge has been frequently made that the Cal- 
vinistic apologists of later times have modified the 
severer aspects of their system under the pressure of 
controversy. This is a mistake. It has arisen from 
the persistent determination of Arminian writers to 
take Supralapsarianism and Necessitarianism as sym- 
bolic Calvinism. When, therefore, the true expo- 
nents of Calvinism defend their system from another 
point of view, they are twitted with compromising 
the Calvinistic system. But surely the Calvinistic 
Confessions and the views of the vast majority of 
Calvinistic divines ought, by fair adversaries, to be 
construed as representatives of the system. Did the 
Calvinist treat the Wesleyan Arminian doctrines as 
identical with the Remonstrant, would not the 
blunder be exposed and the injustice resented? 

It is not intended to imply that Arminians have 
always correctly represented the position of the 
Supralapsarians. On the contrary, the affirmation of 
the latter, that God dooms men to punishment for 
their sin^ has seldom had due consideration given it 
by Arminian writers. This only makes the charge 
of injustice in the conduct of the controversy all the 
graver, since not only the views of Supralapsarians, 
but their misapprehended views, are attributed by the 
mass of Arminian controversialists to Sublapsarian 

In this discussion, the Sublapsarian view of the 
divine decrees will be adhered to, under the convic- 
tion that it is characteristic of the system of doctrine 
stated in all of the Calvinistic Confessions which 

Introductory Remarks. 13 

speak definitely on the question, and maintained by 
the great majority of Calvinistic theologians. 

The treatment of the subject will be distributed 
into the following sections: First, the doctrine of 
Election, stated and proved ; Secondly, the doctrine 
of Reprobation, stated and proved ; Thirdly, Objec- 
tions to these doctrines, derived from the Moral At- 
tributes of God, answered ; Fourthly, Objections 
derived from the Moral Agency of man, answered. 



In order to secure clearness and to prevent mis- 
apprehension in regard to the issues involved, state- 
ments of the doctrine of election by the prominent 
Calvinistic Confessions will be furnished, and also 
representations of that doctrine from Evangelical 
Arminian sources of high authority. The Calvinistic 
doctrine will then be analyzed into its constituent 
elements, their scriptural proofs exhibited, and the 
questions between Calvinists and Evangelical Armin- 
ians in regard to those points will be discussed. 

The statement of the doctrine of election by the 
Westminster Confession is as follows: "By the 
decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some 
men . . . are predestinated unto everlasting life. 

"These men . . . thus predestinated . . . are par- 
ticularly and unchangeably designed ; and their 
number is so certain and definite that it cannot be 
either increased or diminished. 

"Those of mankind that are predestinated unto 
life. God, before the foundation of the world was laid, 
according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and 
the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath 
chosen in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of his 
mere free grace and love, without any foresight of 


Election Stated and Proved. 15 

faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of 
them, or any other thing in the creatnre, as condi- 
tions, or canses moving him therennto ; and all to 
the praise of his glorions grace. 

"As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so 
hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his 
will, fore-ordained all the means thereunto. Where- 
fore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are 
redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith 
in Christ by his Spirit working in due season ; are 
justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power 
through faith unto salvation."^ 

The Westminster Larger Catechism says: "God, 
by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere 
love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be mani- 
fested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory; 
and, in Christ, hath chosen some men to eternal life, 
and the means thereof 

"God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate 
of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach 
of the first covenant, commonly called the covenant 
of works ; but of his mere love and mercy delivereth 
his elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate 
of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called 
the covenant of grace. " 

"The covenant of grace was made with Christ as 
the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as 
his seed." ^ 

The Westminster Shorter Catechism : "God, hav- 
ing out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, 
elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a cov- 
enant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of 
^ Ch. III. Sec. iv. -^Questions 30, 31. 

1 6 Calvi7iism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of 
salvation by a Redeemer. ' ' ^ 

What follows is a part of the utterance of the Synod 
of Dort : "The cause, or fault, of this unbelief" [i. e. 
in Christ], "as of all other sins, is in no wise in God, 
but in man. But faith in Jesus Christ, and salvation 
through him, is the free gift of God. 

"But whereas, in process of time, God bestoweth 
faith on some, and not on others, this proceeds from 
his eternal decree. 

"Now, election is the unchangeable purpose of 
God, by which, before the foundation of the world, 
according to the most free pleasure of his will, and 
of his mere grace, out of all mankind — fallen, through 
their own fault, from their first integrity into sin and 
destruction — he hath chosen in Christ unto salvation 
a set number of certain men, neither better nor more 
worthy than others, but lying in the common misery 
with others ; which Christ also from all eternity he 
appointed the Mediator, and head of all the elect, and 
foundation of salvation. And so he decreed to give 
them to him to be saved, and by his Word and Spirit 
effectually to call and draw them to a communion 
with him : that is, to give them a true faith in him, 
to justify, sanctify, and finally glorify them, being 
mightily kept in the communion of his Son, to the 
demonstration of his mercy, and the praise of the 
riches of his glorious grace. 

"This said election was made, not upon foresight 

of faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or of 

any other good quality or disposition, as a cause or 

condition before required in man to be chosen ; but 

^ Quest. 20. 

Election Stated and Proved. ij 

unto faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, etc. 
And therefore election is the fountain of all saving 
good, from whence faith, holiness, and the residue of 
saving gifts, lastly everlasting life itself, do flow, as 
the fruits and effects thereof. 

''The true cause of this free election is the good 
pleasure of God ; not consisting herein, that, from 
among all possible means, he chose some certain 
qualities, or actions, of men, as a condition of salva- 
tion ; but herein, that out of the common multitude 
of sinners he culled out to himself, for his own pecu- 
liar" [possession] "some certain persons. 

"And as God himself is most wise, unchangeable, 
omniscient, and omnipotent, so the election made by 
him can neither be interrupted nor changed, revoked 
or disannulled, nor the elect cast away, nor their 
number diminished." ^ 

The Second Helvetic Confession says: "God hath 
from the beginning freely, and of his mere grace, 
without any respect of men, predestinated or elected 
the saints, whom he will save in Christ."^ 

The French Confession: "We believe that out of 
this universal corruption and damnation, wherein by 
nature all men are drowned, God did deliver and pre- 
serve some, whom, by his eternal and immutable 
counsel, of his own goodness and mercy, without 
any respect of their works, he did choose in Christ 
Jesus. . . . For some are not better than others, till 
such time as the Lord doth make a difference, accord- 
ing to that immutable counsel which he had decreed 

^Judgment, Arts. 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 : Hall's Harm. Prot. Conf. 
' Ch. 10, Hall's Harm. 

18 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

in Christ Jesus before the creation of the world : 
neither was any man able by his own strength to 
make an entrance for himself to that good, seeing that 
of our nature we cannot have so much as on^ riglit 
motion, affection, or thought, till God do freely pre- 
vent us, and fashion us to uprightness/^ * 

The Belgic Confession: ''We believe that God, 
after that the whole offspring of Adam was cast head- 
long into perdition and destruction, through the de- 
fault of the first man, hath declared and shewed 
himself to be such an one, as he is indeed ; namely, 
both merciful and just : merciful, by delivering and 
saving those from condemnation and from death, 
whom, in his eternal counsel, of his own free good- 
ness, he hath chosen in Jesus Christ our Lord, with- 
out any regard at all to their works. ^^* 

The Swiss Form of Agreement {Fomntla Consensus 
Helvetica)', '' Before the foundations of the world 
were laid, God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, formed an 
eternal purpose, in which, out of the mere good 
pleasure of his will, without any foresight of the merit 
of works or of faith, unto the praise of his glorious 
grace, he elected a certain and definite number of 
men, in the same mass of corruption and lying in a 
common blood, and so corrupt in sin, to be, in time, 
brought to salvation through Christ the only Sponsor 
and Mediator, and, through the merit of the same, 
by the most powerful influence of the Holy Spirit re- 
generating, to be effectually called, regenerated, and 
endued with faith and repentance. And in such wise 
indeed did God determine to illustrate his glory, that 
he decreed, first to create man in integrity, then to 
^Art. 12, Hall. "" Kx\.. i6/Hall. 

Election Stated and Proved. 19 

permit his fall, and finally to pity some from among 
the fallen, and so to elect the same." ^ 

To these statements of the doctrine may be added 
those of British Episcopal Churches, for the reason 
that they are, upon this point, explicitly Calvinistic. 

The Seventeenth Article of the Church of England 
is as follows: "Predestination to life is the everlast- 
ing purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations 
of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by 
his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and 
damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out 
of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlast- 
ing salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore 
they be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be 
called according to God's purpose by his Spirit work- 
ing in due season : they through grace obey the call- 
ing : they be made sons of God by adoption : they be 
made like the image of his only-begotten Son, Jesus 
Christ : they walk religiously in good works : and at 
length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting 

The third article of the Church of Ireland has these 
words : "By the same eternal counsel, God hath pre- 
destinated some unto life, and reprobated some unto 
death : of both which there is a certain number, 
known only to God, which can neither be increased 
nor diminished. ^ 

"Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose 
of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world 
were laid, he hath constantly decreed in his secret 

* Can. IV., Niemeyer, p. 731. 

"^ Identical with the Lambeth Articles. 

20 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

counsel to deliver from curse and damnation those 
whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and 
to bring them by Christ unto everlasting salvation, 
as vessels made to honour. ^ 

"The cause moving God to predestinate unto life 
is not the foreseeing of faith, or perseverance, or good 
works, or of any thing which is in the person predes- 
tinated, but only the good pleasure of God himself. ^ 
For all things being ordained for the manifestation 
of his glory, and his glory being to appear both in 
the works of his mercy and of his justice, it seemed 
good to his heavenly wisdom to choose out a certain 
number, towards whom he would extend his unde- 
served mercy, leaving the rest to be spectacles of his 

"Such as are predestinated unto life be called ac- 
cording unto God's purpose (his Spirit working in 
due season), and through grace they obey the calling, 
they be justified freely, they be made sons of God by 
adoption, they be made like the image of his only- 
begotten Son, Jesus Christ, they walk religiously in 
good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they 
attain to everlasting felicity."^ 

Having thus sufficiently given the doctrine of Cal- 
vinism in regard to Election, I proceed to furnish 
that of Evangelical Arminianism. In the absence of 
any Symbolic Articles in which the views of Evan- 
gelical Arminians touching the doctrine of Election 
are embodied, * reference must be had to the state - 

^ Same as the English Article. 
2 Same as Lambeth Article. 
^Nearly identical with English Article. 

* In the XXV. Articles of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
the United States, the topic of Election is omitted. 

Election Stated and Proved. 21 

ments of those who are accepted by theiu as represen- 
tative theologians. 

John Wesley thus speaks : "The Scripture tells us 
plainly what predestination is : it is God's fore-ap- 
pointing obedient believers to salvation, not without, 
but 'according to his foreknowledge' of all their 
works ' from the foundation of the world.' . . . We 
may consider this a little further. God, from the 
foundation of the world, foreknew all men's believ- 
ing or not believing. And according to this, his fore- 
knowledge, he chose or elected all obedient believers, 
as such, to salvation." 

" God calleth /Abraham ' a father of many nations,' 
though not so at that time. He calleth Christ 'the 
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,' though 
not slain till he was a man in the flesh. Even so he 
calleth men 'elected from the foundation of the 
world,' though not elected till they were men in the 
flesh. Yet it is all so before God, who, knowing all 
things from eternity, 'calleth things that are not as 
though they were.' 

"By all which it is clear, that as Christ was called 
'the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,' 
and yet not slain till some thousand years after, till 
the day of his death, so also men are called 'elect 
from the foundation of the world,' and yet not elected, 
perhaps, till some thousand years after, till the day 
of their conversion to God . . . 

"If the elect are chosen through sanctification of 
the Spirit, then they were not chosen before they 
were sanctified by the Spirit. But they were not 
sanctified before they had a being. It is plain, then, 
neither were they chosen from the foundation of the 

22 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

world. But God 'calleth things that are not as 
though they were.' . . . 

"If the saints are chosen to salvation, through 
believing of the truth . . . they were not chosen be- 
fore they believed ; much less before they had a 
being, any more than Christ was slain before he had 
a being. So plain is it that they were not elected till 
they believed, although God 'calleth things that are 
not as though they were.' . . . 

"It is plain the act of electing is in tiine^ though 
known of God before ; who according to his knowl- 
edge, often speaketh of the things ' which are not as 
though they were.' And thus is the great stumbling 
block about election taken away, that men may 
'make their calling and election sure.' "^ 

In another place, Wesley says: "But do not the 
Scriptures speak of election ? . . . You cannot there- 
fore deny there is such a thing as election. And if 
there is, what do you mean by it? 

"I will tell you in all plainness and simplicity. I 
believe it commonly means one of these two things ; 
first, a divine appointment of some particular men, to 
do some particular work in the world. And this 
election I believe to be not only personal, but absolute 
and unconditional . . . 

"I believe election means, secondly, a divine ap- 
pointment of some men to eternal happiness. But I 
believe this election to be conditional, as well as the 

^ These extracts are taken from Wesley's tract, entitled, The 
Scripture Doctrine concerning Predestination, Election and Re- 
proljation : Works, vol. ix., pp. 421, 422, New York Ed., 1S27. It 
is incorporated into the Doctrinal Tracts published b}- order of the 
General Conference of the Meth. E. Church. 

Election Stated and Proved, 23 

reprobation opposite thereto. I believe the eternal 
decree concerning both is expressed in these words, 
* He that believeth shall be saved : he that believeth 
not shall be damned.' And this decree without doubt 
God will not change, and man cannot resist Ac- 
cording to this all true believers are in Scripture 
termed elect . . . 

**God calleth true believers *elect from the founda- 
tion of the world,' although they were not actually 
elect or believers till many ages after, in their several 
generations. Then only it was that they were ac- 
tually elected, when they were made the *sons of God 
by faith.' . . . 

'*This election I as firmly believe as I believe the 
Scripture to be of God. But unconditional election I 
cannot believe ; not only because I cannot find it in 
Scripture, but also, (to waive all other considerations,) 
because it necessarily implies unconditional reproba- 
tion. Find out any election which does not imply 
reprobation, and I will gladly agree to it. But repro- 
bation I can never agree to, while I believe the Scrip- 
ture to be of God : as being utterly irreconcilable to 
the whole scope of the Old and New Testament." ^ 

'HVhat do you mean by the word Election? ... I 
mean this. God did decree from the beginning to 
elect or choose (in Christ) all that should believe to 
salvation." ^ 

''Irresistible Grace and Infallible Perseverance are 
the natural consequence of the former, the uncondi- 

^ Works, vol. 9, pp. 381, 382, New York, 1827; Predestinatian 
Calmly Considered : a part of the Doctrinal Tracts already meu- 

^ Ibid., p. 435 : A Dialogue, etc. 

24 Calvinism aiid Evajigelical Arniinianism. 

tional decree ... So that, in effect, the three ques- 
tions come into one, Is Predestination absolute or 
conditional ? The Arminians believe it is condi- 
tional." ' 

Richard Watson thus distributes the subject of 
election: " Of a divine election, or choosing and sep- 
aration from others, we have these three kinds men- 
tioned in the Scriptures. The first is the election 
of individuals to perform some particular and special 
service. . .. . The second kind of election which we 
find in Scripture is the election of nations^ or bodies 
of people, to eminent religious privileges, and in 
order to accomplish, by their superior illumination, 
the merciful purposes of God, in benefiting other 
nations or bodies of people. . . . The third kind of 
election is personal election; or the election of indi- 
viduals to be the children of God and the heirs of 
eternal life." ^ 

In regard to the last-mentioned aspect of election — 
that which is in dispute — he says : "What true per- 
sonal election is, we shall find explained in two clear 
passages of Scripture. It is explained negatively by 
our Lord, where he says to his disciples, ' I have 
chosen you out of the world'; it is explained posi- 
tively by St. Peter, when he addresses his first epistle 
to the 'elect, according to the foreknowledge of God 
the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto 
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.' To 
be elected, therefore, is to be separated from 'the 
world,' and to be sanctified by the Spirit, and by the 
blood of Christ. 

^ Ibid., p. 475 : What is an Anniniaii ? Ansiuered. 

2 Thcol. Institutes, vol. ii., pp. 307, 308, 337, New York, 1840. 

Election Stated aiid Proved. 25 

''It follows, then, tliat election is not only an act 
of God done in time ; bnt also that it is snbseqnent to 
the administration of the means of salvation. The 
'calling' goes before the 'election'; the pnblication 
of the'doctrine of 'the Spirit,' and the atonement, 
called by Peter ' the sprinkling of the blood of Christ' 
before that ' sanctification,' through which they be- 
come 'the elect' of God. The doctrine of ^/^r//^/ 
election is thus brought down to its true meaning. 
Actual election cannot be eternal ; for, from eternity, 
the elect were not actually chosen out of the world, 
and from eternity they could not be ' sanctified unto 
obedience.' The phrases 'eternal election,' and 
'eternal decree of election,' so often in the lips of 
Calvinists, can, in common sense, therefore, mean 
only an eternal purpose to elect ; or a purpose formed 
in eternity, to elect, or choose out of the world, and 
sanctify in time, by 'the Spirit and the blood of 
Jesus.' This is a doctrine which no one will contend 
with them ; but when they graft upon it another, 
that God hath, from eternity, ' chosen in Christ unto 
salvation ' a set number of men, ' certam qnoriuidam 
hominiim miiltitiidine7n '—not upon foresight of faith 
and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other 
good quality or disposition (as a cause or condition 
before required in man to be chosen); but unto faith, 
and the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., 'nan ex 
prcEvisafide, fideiqiie obedieiitia, sanctitate, ant aha 
aliqiia bona qualitate et dispositionc,' etc., {Judgment 
of the Synod 0/ Dort,) it presents itself under a dif- 
ferent aspect, and requires an appeal to the word of 

God." ' 

^Ibid., vol. ii., p. 33^- 

26 Calvinism and Evangelical Armiiiianism 


Without further definition of his own view, Watson 
proceeds to argue against the Calvinistic doctrine. 

Dr. Ralston adopts Watson's threefold distribution 
of election — of individuals to office, of communities 
to religious privileges, of individuals to eternal life. 
In regard to the last kind he says : "That election 
of this personal and individual kind is frequently al- 
luded to in the Scriptures, is admitted by Arminians 
as well as Calvinists ; but the great matter of dispute 
relates to the sense in which the subject is to be un- 
derstood. Calvinists say that this election is ' from 
all eternity ; ' this Arminians deny, except so far as 
the foreknowledge or purpose of God to elect may be 
termed election. ' 

So far for his view as to the temporal origin of 
election. As to its conditionality he thus speaks : 
"Before the election in question can exist, there 
must be a real difference in the objects or persons 
concerning whom the choice is made. Even an in- 
telligent creature can make no rational choice where 
no supposed difference exists ; and can we suppose 
that the infinite God will act in a manner that would 
be justly deemed blind and irrational in man? The 
thought is inadmissible. ... If God selects, or 
chooses, some men to eternal life and rejects others, 
as all admit to be the fact, there must be a good and 
sufficient reason for this election." 

Now, what is this reason? He answers : "Wear- 
rive at the conclusion, therefore, that however dif- 
ferent the teachings of Calvinism, if one man is 

' Elements of Divinity, p. 289, Nashville, Teuu., 1882. This 
work is edited by Dr. T. O. Summers, aud issued by the Southern 
Methodist Fublishin^i^ House. 

Election Stated and Proved. 27 

elected to everlasting life and another consigned to 
perdition, it is not the resnlt of an arbitrary, capri- 
cions and nnreasonable partiality, but accords with 
reason, equity, and justice, and is a glorious display 
of the harmonious perfections of God. It is because 
the one is good and the other bad ; the one is right- 
eous and the other unrighteous ; the one is a be- 
liever and the other an unbeliever ; or the one is 
obedient and the other rebellious. These are the 
distinctions which reason, justice, and Scripture 
recognize ; and we may rest assured they are the only 
distinctions which God regards in electing his people 
to glory, and sentencing the wicked to perdition." ' 

Dr. ]\Iiner Raymond, Professor in Garrett Biblical 
Institute, Illinois, in his Systematic Theology, con- 
curs in the three-fold distribution of election already 
indicated, but differs with the writers who have been 
cited in regard to the end to which individuals are 
savingly elected. They make it eternal life, and he 
a contingent salvation. According to them, election, 
being conditional upon the foresight of perseverance 
in faith and holiness to the end of life, terminates on 
an assured felicity in heaven ; according to him 
election, being conditioned upon the foresight of only 1 
a contingent perseverance in faith and holiness, I 
terminates on only a contingent salvation. Election 
is not to eternal life, but to the contingent heirship 
of eternal life. Let us hear him speak for himself: 

"A third use of the terms 'elect,' 'elected,' 

'called,' 'chosen,' and other terms of similar import, 

is found in the Scriptures. 'Many are called, but few 

are chosen.' 'Elect according to the foreknowledge 

^Ibid., pp. 291, 292, 293. 

28 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni, 

of God the Father, through sanctificatioii of the Spirit, 
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.' 
Here, evidently, the choosing is after the calling — 
that is, it is an act done in time. The election is by 
and through the sanctification of the Spirit ; that is, 
it is a selection, a choosing out of the world, a sepa- 
ration from the world, by regeneration, conversion, 
the new birth ; in a word, when God justifies a sinner, 
regenerates his nature, adopts him as a child of God, 
makes him an heir of eternal life, he thereby, then 
and there, separates him from the sinners of the 
world — elects him to be his child and an heir of 
eternal life. The sinner, by this election, becomes a 
saint, an elect person, and is frequently so called in 
the Scriptures. 

"This election is almost universally spoken of as 
conditioned upon repentance toward God and faith in 
our Lord Jesus Christ ; and if, in any passages, the 
condition is not specifically mentioned, it is plainly 
implied. If, in any sense, this election is eternal, it 
is so only in the purpose of the Divine Being to 
elect; and as the election itself is conditioned upon 

\ faith, it follows that the eternal purpose to elect was 

■ based upon that foreseen faith. . . . 

"Men may do despite unto the Spirit of grace by 
which they have been sanctified. Till probation 
terminate.s, final destiny is a contingency. Two 
opposite eternities are either of them possible, and 
the question is decided, never by any thing external 
to the man himself, but by his own free choice, aided 
by the grace of God. ' ' ' 

It is necessary to add that this writer makes re- 
nvoi, ii., pp. 420, 423. 

Electio7t Staled and Proved. 29 

generation a work, jointly wronght by divine and 
human agency, and holds that, in the order of 
thought, repentance precedes faith and faith precedes 
regeneration. The question being, What conditions 
salvation? his answer is — and it deserves special 
notice as indicative of the developments of the Evan- 
gelical Arminian theology — "That salvation is con- 
ditioned upon man's acceptance, and co-operation by 
faith, is implied in all the commands, precepts, ex- 
hortations, admonitions, entreaties, promises, and • 
persuasions of the Word of God ; and such passages 
as the following are equivalent to a direct affirmation 
that man determines the question of his salvation : 
*He that believeth shall be saved; he that believeth 
not shall be damned,' " etc. ^ 

It may be asked, why Fletcher has not been pre- 
viously summoned as a witness. The reason is, that 
the definition which he gives of election, as pertain- 
ing to individual salvation, seems to be somewhat 
peculiar to himself. He represents it as of two kinds, 
one an election to initial salvation, conveying a tem- 
porary redemption, — which is unconditional ; the 
other an election to eternal salvation, — which is con- 
ditioned upon the perseverance of the believer to the 
end of the day of initial salvation. "We believe," 
says he, "that Jesus Christ died for the whole human 
race, with an intention first, to procure absolutely and 
unconditionally a temporary redemption, or an initial 
salvation for all men universally ; and secondly, to 
procure a particular redemption, or an eternal salva- 
tion cojtditionally for all men, but absolutely for all 
that die in their infancy, and for all the adult who 
Wbid., pp. 358, 359. . 

30 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

obey him^ and are faithful tinto deaths ^ The state- 
ment is eccentric and somewhat confused, but agrees 
substantially with those which have been furnished. 

These statements of the Calvinistic and Evangel- 
ical Arminian doctrines of election having been fur- 
nished, the way is open for an analysis of the Calvin- 
istic doctrine into its component elements, and the 
exhibition of the scriptural proofs on which they are 

It is resolvable into the following elements : first, 
its author or efficient cause ; secondly, its object, in 
general ; thirdly, its objects, in particular ; fourthly, 
its end or final cause ; fifthly, its origin ; sixthly, the 
love which it involves ; and seventhly, its ground or 
reason. This order of statement is adopted, not be- 
cause it is deemed most logical, but because it is de- 
sirable to consider last the features of the subject in 
regard to which the Calvinist and the Evangelical 
Arminian mainly join issue. 

>V Before these points are considered, it is proper to 
^ premise, that in this discussion there is no intimation 
of an order of tinie^ as obtaining in the relation to 
each other of the divine decrees. What is intended 
is that one may be in order to another, in this sense — 
that one may be pre-supposed by another. The de- 
cree, for instance, to permit the Fall is in order to, or 
pre-supposed by, the decree to provide redemption for 
sinners. To deny such an order as this, because it 
appears to conflict with the simplicity and immuta- 
bility of an Infinite Being, is to reject all difference 
and distinction between the acts of God, and to reduce 
all his perfections to the absolute unity of his essence; 
^ Works, vol. iii., pp. 435, 436: London, 1815. 

Election Stated and Proved. 31 

and that would be to subvert the doctrine of the 
Trinity itself. We are obliged to conceive an order 
of thought or nature as existing in the divine decrees. 
**What divines," says President Edwards, '^ intend by 
prior diW^ posterior in the affair of God's decrees, is 
not that one is before another in the order of time, for 
all are from eternity ; but that we must conceive the 
view or consideration of one decree to be before an- 
other, inasmuch as God decrees one thing out of re- 
spect to another decree that he has made ; so that one 
decree must be conceived of as in some sort to be the 
ground of another, or that God decrees one because 
of another ; or that he would not have decreed one, 
had he not decreed that other." ^ Then follows an 
argument in which Edwards powerfully supports this 
view. ^' While," observes Dr. Thorn well on the 
same subject, "owing to the simplicity and eternity 
of the divine nature, there cannot be conceived in God 
a succession of time, nor consequently various and 
successive decrees, yet we may justly speak of his 
decrees as prior or posterior in point of nature." * 
*'The question," remarks the same writer in another 
place, "concerning the order of the divine decrees 
involves something more than a question of logical 
method. It is really a question of the highest moral 
significance. The order of a thing very frequently 
determines its righteousness and justice. Conviction 
and hanging are parts of the same process, but it is 
something more than a question of arrangement 
whether a man shall be hung before he is convicted." ^ 

^ Misc. Observations concerning Divine Decrees and E lection y 
I 58. 
^ Coll. Writings, vol. ii. p. 124. 
^ Ibid., vol. ii. p. 20. 

32 CalviJiism and Evangelical Ajnmnianism. 

Corresponding with this order in the decrees we 
must conceive also an order in the exercises and 
modes of the divine perfections — one not of time, but 
of thought; that is, the exercise of one divine perfec- 
tion is pre-supposed by that of another, and a mode 
of a perfection is pre-supposed by another mode of the 
same perfection. The conceptions of the divine in- 
telligence, for example, must be considered as in or- 
der to the exercises of the divine justice and love and 
the acts of the divine will. The view which God 
took of man unfallen, man fallen, and man to be re- 
deemed, was in order to those exercises of justice and 
love, and those determinations of will, which were 
related to man in those respective conditions. So 
also, for instance, the intrinsic perfection of divine 
love is one, but it may exist in different modes, one 
of which is pre-supposed by another. The benevo- 
lence of God towards the creatures of his power is 
pre-supposed by that peculiar love which has for its 
objects those who are redeemed by his dear Son and 
imited to him by the grace of his Spirit. 

It is not designed to say that one mode precedes 
another which in an order of time did not previously 
exist. The modes of the divine love are co-eternal, 
and their appropriate objects were eternally before 
the divine mind. When tJie objects are actually 
brought into existence, no new modification of the 
love of God occurs. There is only a new manifesta- 
tion of his love which exijsted eternally. And, al- 
though the subject is confessedly difficult, I can see 
no just reason for supposing that a new manifestation 
of love would be equivalent to a new modification of 
that attribute. It may be a question, whether it be 

Election Stated a) id Proved. 


not necessary to suppose a new modification of the 
divine will, involved in the determination to eff L-ct 
a manifestation of love which had not previously 
been made. But were that so — which I am not pre- 
pared to admit as beyond doubt — the immutability 
of the divine love, even as to its modes, would not be 
disproved, unless it could be conclusively shown that 
the love of God is one and the same with the will of 
God considered as determinative. One is apt to think 
that impossible, notwithstanding the fact that some 
eminent theologians, under the influence of the old 
scholastic distribution of the mental powers into 
intelligence and will, have expressed themselves in 
favor of the identity of the divine love and the divine 
will even in its acts. The view which denies an 
order of nature in the divine decrees and the exer- 
cises of the divine perfections, on the ground of the 
simplicity and immutability of the infinite Being, 
cannot be adjusted to our convictions of the distinc- 
tion between intelligence and will, between justice 
and mercy, between benevolence and complacency. 
The result would be the impersonal infinite substance 
of the Pantheist, manifesting itself in conformity 
with a law of blind necessity. And yet he is com- 
pelled by the patent facts of observation to grant that 
this impersonal substance expresses itself diversely in 
the countless differences of finite existence. But the 
argument is not with the Pantheist : it lies within 
the limits of Christian Theism. It is enough to 
point out the fact that those theologians who merge 
the divine love into the acts of the divine will have 
no hesitation in afiirminof a difference between the 
intelligence and the wnll of God. Nor would they 

34 Calvi)iisj}i and Evangelical Aj'niinianisnt. 

deny that the conception of ends by tlie divine wis- 
dom is pre-snpposed by, and is in order to, the 
specific determinations of the divine will. It is no 
derogation from the glory of the ever-blessed God to 
say, that one decree is in order to another, or that 
the exercise of one perfection is in order to the exer- 
cise of another. With these preliminary cautions I 
proceed to develop the proofs of election. 

I. The Author or Efficient Cause of Election — God. 
This answers the question, Who elects ? 

Eph. i. 4: "According as he hath chosen us in 
him" — that is, accordinQf as God the Father has 
chosen us in Christ. This meaninQf of the words is 
determined by the immediately preceding verse : 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual bless- 
ings in heavenly places in Christ." The doctrine is 
here taught that God the Father, as the representa- 
tive of the Trinity, is the author of the electing de- 
cree. From his bosom the scheme of redemption 

2 Thess. ii. 13 : " Rut we are bound to give thanks 
always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, 
because God hath from tlie beginning chosen you to 

I Thess. V. 9 : "For God hath not appointed us to 
wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus 

These passages are sufficient to prove, beyond 
doubt, that God, and God alone, is the author or effi- 
cient cause of election. This the Evangelical Ar- 
minian professes to acknowledge, not only with 
regard to the election of communities to peculiar 

Eleclion Stated and Proz'cd. 35 

privileges, but also to that of individuals to salvation. 
But if it be true that, according to his system, the 
will of man is the ultimate, determining cause of his 
choice of salvation, it follows inevitably that man and 
not God is the efficient cause of election. That man 
determines the question of his salvation, we have 
seen, by a citation from his Systematic Theology, 
that Dr. IMiner Raymond expressly asserts. ' But if 
this be regarded as an individual opinion which can- 
not be considered representative of the system, I shall 
endeavor, in the prosecution of the argument under 
another head, to prove that what he candidly avows 
is the logical result of the principles which he holds 
in common with his school. And should the proof 
be fairly exhibited, it will be evinced that the Evan- 
gelical Arminian theology stumbles upon the very 
threshold of the scriptural doctrine of election. It is 
one thinof to sav that God is the author of a scheme 
of redemption, involving the accomplishment of a 
universal atonement and the bestowal of universal 
grace, and quite another to say that he is the author 
of the election of sinners to salvation. The former 
the Arminian affirms ; the latter he is logically bound 
to deny. 

2. The Object^ in gene7'al^ of election — man consid- 
ered as fallen and 7'uined. This answers the ques- 
tion, Upon what did election terminate? 

Rom. V. 8: "God commendeth his love toward us, 
in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for lis." 

Eph. i. 4: "According as he hath chosen us in 

^ The same assertion is distinctly made by Dr. James Stron<;, in 
his article on Arminianism (Wesleyan), in the SchafF-Herzog 

36 Calviiiisui and Evangelical Arnilnlanisni. 

him [that is, Christ], before the foundation of the 

Ezek. xvi. 6: "And when I passed by thee, and 
saw thee poUuted in thine own blood, I said unto thee 
when thou wast in thy blood. Live ; yea, I said unto 
thee when thou wast in thy blood. Live." 

Rom. ix. 21 : "Hath not tlie potter power over the 
clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto 
honour, and another unto dishonour?" 

Upon this point the issue is between the Supralap- 
sarians and the Sublapsarians. Some of the former 
contend that in the decree of election man was viewed 
simply as creatable, others, that he was contemplated 
as created but not fallen. The Sublapsarians hold 
that in that decree man was regarded as fallen and cor- 
rupt. In favor of the Sublapsarian doctrine I urge — 

(i.) The Scriptural argument. 

In the passage cited from the fifth chapter of Rom- 
ans the apostle is treating of the security of those who 
are justified through faith in Christ. His argument 
is drawn from the love of God towards them. The 
electing love of God, having been eternally pitched 
upon them viewed as sinners and therefore ill-deserv- 
ing, was not grounded in or conditioned upon any 
good quality or act foreknown to pertain to them, but 
issued freely from his bosom, and, from the nature of 
the case, cannot change in consequence of the change- 
ableness of its objects. Having loved them regarded 
simply as ungodly sinners, he cannot fail to love 
them contemplated as reconciled to him by the death 
of his Son. It is evident that the passage teaches 
that the object of election w^as man viewed as fallen 
and s'nfuk 

Election Stated and Proved. 37 

When, ill the passage taken from the first chapter 
of Ephesians, tlie apostle declares that believers were 
chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, 
he must mean that they were elected to be redeemed 
by Christ, appointed as their Mediator and Federal 
Head ; and, therefore, it is necessarily implied that 
wdien elected they were conceived as ruined by sin. 

In the graphic passage quoted from the sixteenth 
chapter of Ezekiel, God, under the figure of a polluted, 
deserted, helpless infant represents the object of his 
electinor love as beino: in a state of sin and miserv. 
The description cannot have reference to the execu- 
tion of the electing purpose in effectual calling, for 
the palpable reason that that is immediately after set 
forth as terminating upon the same infant when it had 
arrived at marriageable age. It is curious that in the 
attempt to make this and other statements of Scripture 
refer to the temporal execution of the electing pur- 
pose, the great Supralapsarian Dr. Twisse and the 
Arminians are at one wnth each other. Extremes 
meet. The company is hardly creditable to the pro- 
fessed Calvinist. 

In the celebrated passage from the ninth chapter of 
Romans, the "lump" must refer to the fallen and 
corrupt mass of mankind, for — 

First, Divine mercy, from its very nature, cannot 
terminate upon any other than an ill-deserving and 
miserable object. Those who are chosen out of the 
mass are denominated "vessels of mercy." IMercy 
proposes to save its objects, and none can be consid- 
ered susceptible of salvation but those who are sinful 
and ruined. 

Secondly, The lump is that from which Jacob is 

38 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

said to have been taken ; and it is evident that he be- 
longed to the fallen and corrupt mass of mankind. 
That Esau and Jacob are declared to have done neither 
good nor evil cannot be proved to refer to their elec- 
tion simply as creatable men, or apart from their being 
contemplated as sinners. The meaning clearly is, if 
we judge from the analogy of the passage, that God's 
preference of one to the other was not conditioned 
upon his knowledge of a distinction between their 
characters. Regarding them both as belonging to a 
sinful race, and, consequently, both as condemned, he 
elected Jacob and passed by Esau. In electing one 
and rejecting the other, he had no regard to their 
"works," that is, their special conscious virtues or 
sins. They were both viewed as fallen and condemned 
in Adam. This is Calvin's view ; ' and it proves him 
to have been a Sublapsarian. 

Thirdly, Esau and other reprobate men are called 
"vessels of wrath." But wrath is the exercise of re- 
tributive justice towards the guilty. It pre-supposes 
the sinful character of the objects upon wdiom it is 
inflicted. Moreover, they are said to be "fitted for 
destruction." Now, either they were fitted to con- 
tract guilt in order to destruction, or they were fitted 
for destruction in consequence of guilt. If the former 
be supposed, they are not the objects of just punish- 
ment. The supposition is impossible. If the latter 
be true, they are regarded in God's decree as sinners 
worthy of punishment. This is the true view. 

Another argument which may be adduced is, that 
the Scriptures "represent calling as the expression of 
election — the first articulate proof of it. But calling 
^ Comni. on Rom. cb. ix. 

Election Stated and Proved. 39 

is from a state of sin and misery. Therefore election 
must refer to the same condition. We are said to be 
cliosen out of the world." ^ 

It deserves to be noticed, also, that Supralapsarians 
confound the wider and the narrower senses of Pre- 
destination, both of which are employed in Scripture. 
In the wider, it means the general purpose or deter- 
mination of God in relation to all actual things. In 
the narrower, it signifies the designation of certain 
definite beino^s — men — to salvation or destruction. It 
is manifest that the particular decree of election or of 
reprobation is different from the general decree by 
wdiicli all things are brought into existence. The 
order, then, is : the decree to create or bring into ex- 
istence. This grounds foreknowledge of existing be- 
ings. Now this foreknowledge which presupposes 
the decree to bring into existence, in turn, in the 
order of thought, precedes Election and Reproba- 
tion — the special decree of predestination. Then the 
foreknowledge of the actual salvation or destruction 
of men presupposes their election or reprobation. 
General decree of predestination — general foreknowl- 
edge ; special decree of predestination — special fore- 
knowledge : that, I conceive is the order indicated in 
Scripture. Supralapsarianism confounds the special 
with the general decree. The distinction is indis- 
pensable to a correct understanding of the Scriptures. 

These special arguments are enhanced and con- 
firmed by the general doctrine of the Scriptures that 
God is not the author of sin but its righteous punisher. 
For, the Supralapsarian fails to relieve his view of the 
consequence that it implies the divine efficiency in 
' Tliornwell, Coll. Writings^ vol. ii. p. 25. 

40 Calvinism and Evangelical Armijiianism. 

the production of sin, by the distinctions which he 
makes — namely, that while God is the producer of the 
sinful act as an entity and therefore a good thing, he 
does not produce the sinful quality which inheres in 
the act ; and that God is not the efficient cause of sin, 
since sin itself is not a positive thing requiring an ef- 
ficient, but merely the privation of a good quality 
and therefore supposing only a deficient, cause. How- 
ever ancient may be these distinctions, and however 
venerable may be the names by which they are sup- 
ported, they are liable to the charge of depreciating 
the criminal enormity of sin, and of threatening to 
reduce it to a mere imperfection incident to the make 
of the finite creature.^ 

(2.) The Metaphysical argument. 

''The Supralapsarian theory," says Dr. Charles 
Hodee, "seems to involve a contradiction. Of a Non- 
Ens (a thing not existent), as Turrettin says, nothing 
can be determined. The purpose to save or condemn, 
of necessity must, in the order of thought, follow the 
purpose to create." "The theory," observes Dr. 
Thornwell, "which makes the decree respect man 
not as fallen, nor even as existing, but only as cap- 
able of both, makes the decree terminate upon an ob- 
ject which in relation to it is a nonentity. It makes 
the decree involve a palpable contradiction." 

There is first the conception in the divine mind of 
all possible beings. The knowledge of the futurition, 
the actual existence, of any of these possible beings — 
I speak not now of the acts of beings — must depend 
upon the determination of God to reduce them from 

^ See Freed, of the Will in its Tlieo. Relations, iu the So. Pres. 
Review, for a discussion of these distinctions. 

Election Stated and Proved. 41 

tlie category of the possible to that of the actual. 
Without such a decree, how could he kuow them as 
certaiu to be? Aud if he could not know them as 
existent, how could lie determine anything in regard 
to them as existent? Not known as to be, they 
would be beyond the reach of any predication save 
that of possibility. The Supralapsarian theory con- 
founds the conception of the possible with that of the 
actual. If there be such a decree as it affirms, it 
would , from the nature of the case, terminate on the 
barely possible — possible beings would be its objects. 
God is represented as decreeing to save or damn 
beings who are conceived to be in posse^ not in esse^ 
and who cannot therefore be conceived as guilty and 
ruined. Whatever qualities could be conceived as 
attaching to them must have been conceived as pos- 
sible qualities, for actual qualities cannot be con- 
ceived as inhering in merely possible beings. Now 
there is predication of actual qualities necessarily in- 
volved in the decree to save or to condemn. It is 
true that the decree to create terminates on the pos- 
sible, but it does not involve the contradiction of 
supposing actual qualities to inhere in only possible 
entities. Its very design is to put the possible into a 
condition in which it can be capable of attribution, 
and therefore of moral destination. Let us suppose, 
with the Supralapsarian, that first of all God decreed 
to glorify his grace and his justice. There must be 
beings through whom that glorification shall be 
effected. Now what sort of beings does God pre- 
destinate to that end? Possible beings, replies he. 
Are then possible beings predestinated to an actual 
heaven and an actual hell? Again, he contends that 

42 Calvinism arid Evangelical Arminianisni. 

men are predestinated to damnation for their sin. 
What sort of sin? The possible sin of possible men? 
Is it not evident that the conception of actual men 
and actual sin is pre-supposed in a decree to adjudge 
them to actual salvation and actual damnation? But 
that implies the decree to create as pre-supposed by 
the decree to predestinate to salvation or destruction. 
Furthermore, there can be no distinction of sin and 
holiness in beings merely possible. That distinction 
is rendered possible only by the decree to create. 
When they are created, beings may remain holy or 
fall into sin. As this distinction conditions the pos- 
sibility of a decree to predestinate to salvation or 
damnation, the decree to create must in the order of 
thought precede the decree to elect or to reprobate. 

The maxim, ''What is last in execution is first in 
intention," which the Supralapsarian urges in favor 
of his scheme, cannot be proved to hold of the plan 
by which God develops his purposes. That plan 
does not appear to involve a subordinated, but a co- 
ordinated series — that is, one in which the parts are 
related as conditions to each other, but not as means 
to ends. Creation, the Fall, Redemption are co- 
ordinate parts of God's great plan, each having its 
own peculiar significance, resulting from its own 
peculiar adaptation to manifest the divine glory 
through the illustration of certain divine perfections. 
.But the Supralapsarian doctrine makes, at least log- 
ically if not confessedly makes, each element in the 
general scheme a means to the attainment of the 
succeeding feature, and the whole a concatenated 
series of means to the accomplishment of the ulti- 
mate end. Creation is in order to the Fall, the Fall 

Election Stated and Proved, 43 

ill order to salvation or damnation, and they in order/ 
to the g'lory of grace and jnstice. Upon this theory 
it is not conceivable tliat the Fall shonld not have 
happened. It was necessary, in order that men might 
glorify grace in their salvation and jnstice in their 
damnation. The covenant of works with a probation 
possible to have been fnlfilled, and glorions rewards 
possible to have been secnred, becomes unintelligible. 
It is not conceivable how the theory can be adjusted 
to the genius of the Calvinistic tlieology. 

(3.) The Moral argument. 

There are law^s of rectitude at the root of the 
moral faculty which are regulative of our moral 
judgments, just as there are laws of thought and 
belief at the root of the intellect which control its 
processes. Now the fundamental laws of justice and 
benevolence, implanted by the divine hand in our 
moral constitution, rise up in revolt against the doc- 
trine that God first determines to glorify his justice 
in the damnation of men, and then determines to 
create them and "efficaciously to procure" their fall 
into sin in order to execute that purpose. The 
Supralapsarian logically makes God the efficient pro- 
ducer of sin. Dr. Twisse's distinction between 
God's decreeing to effect, and decreeing efficaciously 
to procure, the fall of man into sin, is a distinction 
without a difference. If God shut up man to sin, it 
was the same as his causing him to sin. But if any- 
thing is certain, it is that God is not the efficient 
cause of sin. If he were, as he cannot do wrong, 
sin would cease to be sin and become holiness, and 
the distinction between right and wrong would be 
completely wiped out. 

44 Calvinism aitd Evangelical Arniinianism. 

(4.) The argument from Calvinistic consent. 

None of the Calvinistic Symbols are Supralapsarian. 
Some of them imply, without expressly asserting, 
Sublapsarianism. Others are distinctly Sublapsarian: 
In the last-named class are the Canons of the Synod 
of Dort and the Foj-mnla Consensus Helvetica. 

3. The Objects^ in particular^ of election — some indi- 
vidual men. This answers the question. Who are 
elected ? 

Matt. xxiv. 22: "But for the elect's sake those 
days shall be shortened." 

INIatt. xxiv. 24: "Insomuch that, if it were pos- 
sible, they shall deceive the very elect." 

Matt. xxiv. 31: "x\nd he shall send forth his angels 
with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather 
together his elect from the four winds, from one end 
of heaven to the other." 

Lk. xviii. 7: "And shall not God avenge his own 
elect, which cry day and night unto him ?" 

Rom. viii. 33: "Who shall lay anything to the 
charge of God's elect?" 

Rom. xvi. 13: "Salute Rufus chosen (elect) in the 

Eph. i. I, 4, 5, 7, 11: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus 
Christ by the will of God, to the saints wdiich are at 
Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus. . . . 

According as he hath chosen (elected) us 

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children 
by Jesus Christ. ... In whom we have redemp- 
tion by his blood, the forgiveness of sins 

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being 
predestinated according to the purpose of him who 
worketh all thinijs after the counsel of his own will." 

Election Stated and Proved. 45 

Col. iii. 12 : "Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, 
holy and beloved, bowels of mercies." 

I Thess. i. 4: "Knowing, brethren beloved, your 
election of God." 

1 Thess. V. 9: "For God hath not appointed us to 
wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus 

2 Thess. ii. 13 : "But we are bound to give thanks 
alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, 
because God hath from the beginning chosen (elected) 
you to salvation." 

2 Tim. ii. 10: "Therefore I endure all things for 
the elect's sake." 

Tit. i. I : "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle 
of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect." 

I Pet. i. I, 2 : "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, 
to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, 
Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, elect according to 
the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sancti- 
fication of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling 
of the blood of Jesus Christ." 

These passages conclusively show, that there is not 
only an election of communities to peculiar privi- 
leges — which is cheerfully conceded — but that there 
is an election of individuals to everlasting salvation ; 
and the conclusion from these testimonies cannot be 
resisted, that the latter is the highest and the most 
important sense which is attributed to election by the 
Word of God. This distinction is admitted by the 
Evangelical Armiuian. But he holds that the elec- 
tion of individuals is conditioned upon the divine 
foresight of their faith and perseverance in holiness. 
Election, tlien, according to him, is not really the 

46 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

election of individuals to a certain salvation, but, if 
the solecism be allowable, the election of a condition 
upon which individuals may attain to salvation ; but 
of this more anon. His argument in favor of a cofi- 
ditional election of individuals, derived from the text 
in Peter last cited, will be considered when his proof- 
texts come to be noticed. 

It deserves to be considered, that the Arminian 
cannot object to the Calvinistic doctrine on the ground 
that it represents a definite number of individuals as 
elected to everlasting life ; for the Arminian doctrine 
enforces precisely the same view. According to the 
latter doctrine, God foreknows who will believe and 
persevere in faith and holy obedience unto the end, 
that is, unto the attainment of final salvation. Those 
who will so persevere to the end are, of course, a 
definite number. Now it is they who are, by Armin- 
ians, said to be elected. The conclusion is unavoid- 
able that a definite number of individuals are elected. 
The main difference between the two doctrines, that 
in regard to which the stress of the controversy be- 
tw^een them takes place, is concerning the question 
of the conditionality or the unconditionality of elec- 
tion. Does God eternally elect individuals to believe, 
and to persevere in holiness unto the attainment of 
everlasting life? The Calvinist answers. Yes. The 
Arminian answers. No : he purposes to elect to ever- 
lasting life those who of their own free choice believe 
and persevere in holiness to the end. What the pur- 
pose to elect signifies, how it accomplishes any more 
than the individual's own perseverance to the end 
achieves, it is impossible to see; but such is the Ar- 
minian T30sition. Conditional or unconditional? — 

Election Staled and Proved. 


These are the test-questions, the shibboleths of tlie 
contestants. The extract from Watson previously 
given evinces this to be the chief issue. 
- 4. T/ie End or Final Canse of Elcction^proxi- 
mately^ the everlasting life of sinners ; nltiniately^ 
the glory of God- s grace. This answers the question, 
Unto what does God elect? 

(i.) The proximate end of election is the everlast- 
ing life of sinners. 

Matt. XXV. 34: "Then shall the King say unto 
them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my 
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from 
the foundation of the world." 

John vi. 37, 44: "All that the Father giveth me 
shall come to me ; and him that cometh I will in no 
wise cast out. . . . Xo man can come to me, except 
•the Father which hath sent me draw him : and I will 
raise him up at the last day." 

Acts xiii. 48 : "And when the Gentiles heard this, 
they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord : 
and as many as were ordained to eternal life be- 

Rom. viii. 28-30, i,2>^ 34, 38, 39: "And we know 
that all things work together for good to them that 
love God, to them who are the called according to his 
purpose. For, whom he did foreknow, he also did 
predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, 
that he might be the first-born among many brethren. 
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also 
called ; and whom he called, them he also justified : 
and whom he justified, them he also glorified. . . . 
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? 
It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemn- 

48 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

eth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen 
again, and who is even at the right hand of God, who 
also maketh intercession for ns. . . . For I am per- 
suaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor 
things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other 
creatnre, shall be able to separate us from the love of 
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Eph. i. 9-11: "Having made known unto us the 
mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure 
which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dis- 
pensation of the fulness of times he might gather 
together in one all things in Christ, both which are 
in heaven, and which are on earth ; even in him : in 
wdiom also we have obtained an inheritance, being 
] redestinated according to the purpose of him who 
worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." 

1 Thess. V. 9: "For God hath not appointed us to 
wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus 

2 Thess. ii. 13, 14: "But we are bound to give 
thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of 
the Lord, because God hath from the beofinninof 
chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the 
Spirit and belief of the truth : whereunto he called 
you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of 
our Lord Jesus Christ." 

(2.) The ultimate end of election is the glory of 
God's grace. 

Rom. ix. 23: "And that he might make known 
the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which 
he had afore prepared unto glory." 

Eph. i. 5, 6, II, 12: "Having predestinated us 

Election Stated and Proved. 49 

unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to 
himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 
to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he 
hath made us accepted in the beloved. ... In whom 
also we have obtained an inheritance, being predesti- 
nated according to the purpose of him who worketh 
all things after the counsel of his own will : that we 
should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted 
in Christ." 

These scriptural statements in regard to the end or 
final cause of election are so explicit that comment is 
scarcely necessary, especially as there is here no issue 
worth noticing between the Calvinist and the Evan- 
gelical Arminian. 

It is trne that, as the extracts given from their 
waitings show, Fletcher and Raymond held peculiar 
views upon this point, but they contravene the cath- 
olic doctrine of Arminianism. Fletcher's view, 
which distinofuishes between an absolute election of 
individuals to an initial and contingent salvation, on 
the one hand, and a conditional election of all men 
and an unconditional of some to a final salvation, on 
the other, is liable to the following objections : first, 
tliat the distinction has no foundation in Scripture, 
as the passages which have been cited prove ; sec- 
ondly, that it is out of harmony with the general 
doctrine of his school of theology, as expounded by 
such writers as Wesley and Watson ; and thirdly, 
tlu^t he asserted both a conditional and an uncondi- 
tional election to final salvation. 

The view which is common between Fletcher and 
Raymond — that election is of individuals unto faith 
and holy obedience, is confronted by the fatal diffi- 

50 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisnt. 

culty that it concedes the Calviiiistic position which 
has always been resisted by Arniinian theologians, 
namely, that God's decree includes the election of 
individuals unto faith and holy obedience as means 
to the attainment of everlasting life as the end. The 
general doctrine of Arminian writers is, that these 
are conditions upon which election takes place, and 
that individuals may or may not perform the condi- 
tions. If they do, they are elected unto everlasting 
life ; if they do not, they are not so elected. But 
the Calvinist makes the performance of these condi- 
tions part of the electing decree. So far, therefore, 
as Fletcher and Raymond represent individuals as 
elected unto faith and holiness, they give up the 
question to their opponents. Consequently, I cannot 
in fairness attribute to Evangelical Arminianism 
views which, although asserted by Arminians, are 
incapable of logical adjustment to it as a system. It 
is evident that Dr. Raymond has, in his Systematic 
Theology, taken a new departure which seems to be 
his own. How far he is a representative of current 
opinions is an interesting question, but one which I 
have not the means of deciding. While I endeavor 
to show, that logically the Arminian scheme main- 
tains an election of conditions upon which individ- 
uals may attain to everlasting life, rather than the 
election of individuals to everlasting life, that is quite 
a different thing from endeavoring to show — what is 
not logically true of it — that it holds an election of 
individuals to the use of the elected conditions. 
/ 5. The Origin of election^from eternity. This 
/ answers the question, When did God elect? 

Jer. xxxi. 3: *'Yea, I have loved thee with an ev- 

Election Stated and Proved. 51 

erlasting love : therefore with loving-kindness have 
I drawn thee." 

Matt. XXV. 34: ''Come, ye blessed of my Father, 
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foun- 
dation of the world." 

John vi. 2il, X. 29, xvii. 2, 9: "All that the Father 
giveth me shall come to me." "My Father which 
gave them me." "That he should give eternal life 
to as many as thou hast given him." "I pray for 
them : I pray not for the world, but for them which 
thou hast given me ; for they are thine." 

Eph. i. 4, 5, II : "According as he hath chosen us 

in him before the foundation of the world 

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children 
by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good 
pleasure of his will. . . . Being predestinated 
according to the purpose of him who worketh all 
things after the counsel of his will." 

Eph. ii. 4, 5: "For his great love wherewith he 
loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quick- 
ened us." 

2 Tim. i. 9: "His own purpose and grace, which 
was given us in Christ Jesus before the world beo-an." 

Isa. ix. 6, with Isa. viii. 18 and Heb. ii. 13, 14: 
"His name shall be called .... The Everlast- 
ing Father." "Behold, I and the children whom the 
Lord hath given me." "Behold, I and the children 
which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the 
children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also him- 
self likewise took part of the same." 

These testimonies prove that election does not take 
place in time, but is from eternity. 

By the extracts which have been alreadv furnished 

52 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisin. 

from their writings it will be perceived, that Wesley, 
Watson, Ralston and Raymond contend that election 
takes place in time. It is not an eternal predestina- 
tion. When men believe, they sometimes say, at 
others, when they are justified and sanctified, at others 
still, when t?hey have persevered to the end, they are 
then elected ; not before. But — 

(i.) Their general doctrine is explicitly delivered, 
that election is conditioned upon the divine foresight 
of perseverance in faith and holy obedience to the 
end. A believer may, near the termination of his 
earthly course, totally and finally fall from grace and 
perish forever. In consistency with this doctrine, 
then, they must hold that election cannot take place 
in time ; that it can only take place when time with 
all its contingencies has ceased with the believer and 
he has attained the end of his faith. It can only 
occur at or after the expiration of his last mortal 
breath, for up to that critical moment he may lose 
his religion and miss of heaven. There is here, 
therefore, a manifest contradiction. One position is, 
that election takes place in time ; the other is, that it 
takes place after time has ceased : it occurs when the 
man believes, is justified and sanctified ; it occurs 
when he has finished his course and has entered 
heaven ! It would seem after all that they hold to 
election in eternity, but it is eternity a parte post^ not 
eternity a parte ante/ 

(2.) If election occur in time, it must, at the time 
at which it occurs, fix the destiny of the believer sub- 
sequently to that time, that is, for eternity. Other- 
wise it is a changeable election, and that the Evan- 
gelical Arminian does not allow. If one is elected 

Election Stated and Proved. 53 

when he believes, etc., the election is then to eter- 
nal life or it means nothing. But if the believer 
may, as he does hold, fall from faith and holiness and 
finally perish, it follows that the election is unto eter- 
nal life and not unto eternal life at the same time. 
Here then is another instance of contradiction. 

(3.) A distinction is drawn between a purpose to 
elect and actual election. The former is conceded to 
be eternal, the latter, it is contended, takes place in 
time. What is this, but the distinction between an 
eternal purpose and its temporal execution? God, 
for example, eternally purposed to create the world. 
Its actual creation occurred in time. The actual 
creation was the temporal execution of the eternal 
purpose to create. If, then, the distinction were 
admitted between an eternal purpose to elect and 
actual election, the latter would be but the temporal 
execution of the former. But, the execution in time 
of an eternal purpose must correspond with the pur- 
pose itself. As it was, so must be its temporal ac- 
complishment. If the purpose was unconditional, so 
must be its execution ; if conditional, the execution 
must correspond with it. One fails to see what is 
gained by this distinction, so urgently insisted upon 
by Evangelical Arminian theologians, even if their 
demand for an actual election were granted. 

But the question inevitably arises, What is their 
actual election? Is it conversion? No, for conver- 
sion is one of its conditions ; and a condition must be 
before that which is suspended upon it. Is it sancti- 
fication? No, for sanctification is also one of its con- 
ditions. Is it perseverance in holiness? No, for per- 
severance in holiness is equally one of its conditions. 

54 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

What, then, is it? If perseverance in faith and holi- 
ness to the end condition it, it follows that this actual 
election cannot precede the end. Actual election can 
only be the election of a man to be saved who is al- 
ready saved, of one to get to heaven who has got 
there. If that consequence be refused, naught re- 
mains but to admit that the only election which is 
conceivable is God's eternal purpose of election. An 
election in time is rendered impossible by Arminian 
principles themselves. 

(4.) Arminian writers make purpose and foreknowl- 
edge one and the same thing. God eternally pur- 
poses to elect in the sense of eternally foreknowing 
an actual election. But, in the first place, if, as has 
been shown, an actual election distinguished from a 
decree to elect be nothing, God's foreknowledge of an 
actual election would be his foreknowledge of nothing. 
In the second place, the very design of this identifi- 
cation of purpose and foreknowledge is to exclude 
divine determination from election, and reduce it to 
simple prescience. It must, therefore, follow that the 
everlasting salvation of a countless multitude of sin- 
ners is the result not of divine, but of human, deter- 
mination. God, it is true, determines the existence 
of the means of salvation, but those who will be saved 
determine their employment. Heaven with its eter- 
nal felicity and glory is not decreed, it is only foreseen, 
by the Almighty Ruler of the universe. This cannot 
be admitted. The consequence refutes the doctrine. 

6. The Love involved in election — a peculiar^ fr^^^ 
inalienable^ saving love of Complace7icy towards the 
elect. This answers the question, How does God 
regard the elect ? 

Election Stated and Proved. 55 

Ex. XXX. 19: "And he said, I will make all my 
goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the 
name of the Lord before thee : and I will be gracions 
to whom I will be gracions, and will shew mercy on 
whom I will shew mercy." 

Rom. ix. 13, 15, 16, 18: ''As it is written, Jacob 
have I loved. . . . For he saith to Moses, I will have 
mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have 
compassion on whom I will have compassion. So 
then it is not of him that wi-lleth, nor of him that 
rnnneth, bnt of God that sheweth mercy, . .There- 
fore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy." 

Mai. i. 2, 3: "Was not Esan Jacob's brother? 
saith the Lord : yet I loved Jacob and I hated Esan." 

Dent. vii. 7, 8: "The Lord did not set his love 
npon }'on, nor choose yon, because ye were more in 
number thaw any people ; for ye were the fewest of 
all people: but because the Lord loved you." 

Dent. X. 15: "Only the Lord had a delight in thy 
fathers to love them, and he chose their seed." 

Isa. xliii. 4: "Since thou wast precious in my 
sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved 
thee : therefore will I give men for thee, and people 
for thy life." 

Isa. Ixiii. 9 : "In all their affliction he w^as afflicted, 
and the angel of his presence saved them : in his love 
and in his pity he redeemed them ; and he bare them, 
and carried them all the days of old." 

Isa. Ixiii. 16; "Doubtless thou art our Father, 
though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel ac- 
knowledge us not : thou, O Lord, art our Father, our 
Redeemer; thy name is from everlasting." 

Ps. Ixxxix. 19, 20, 28, 30-35: "Then thou spakest 

56 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help 
upon one that is mighty ; I have exalted one chosen 
out of the people. I have found David my servant ; 
with my holy oil have I anointed him. . . . ]\Iy 
mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and my cove- 
nant shall stand fast with him. ... If his chil- 
dren forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments ; 
if they break my statutes, and keep not my com- 
mandments ; then will I visit their transgression with 
the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Neverthe- 
less my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from 
him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant 
will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out 
of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that 
I will not lie unto David." 

Ps. xciv. 18 : "When I said, ]\Iy foot slippeth ; thy 
mercy, O Lord, held me up." 

Isa. liv. 8, 10: "In a little wrath I hid my face 
from thee for a moment ; but with everlasting kind- 
ness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy 
Redeemer. . . . For the mountains shall depart, 
and the hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not 
depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my 
peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on 

Isa. xlix. 15: "Can a woman forget her sucking 
child, that she should not have compassion on the 
son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I 
not forget thee." 

Mic. vii. 20: "Thou wilt perform the truth to 
Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast 
sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." 

Jer. xxxi. 3: "The Lord hath appeared of old unto 

Election Stated and Proved, 57 

me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee witli an everlast- 
ing love : therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn 

Zeph. iii. 17 : "The Lord thy God in the midst of 
thee is mighty ; he will save, he will rejoice over thee 
with joy ; he will rest in his love, he will joy over 
thee with sinoincr. " 

John xvii. 23, 26 : "I in them and tlion in me, 
that they may be made perfect in one ; and that the 
world may know that thon hast sent me, and hast 

loved them as thon hast loved me .... And 


I have declared unto them thy name, and will de- 
clare it ; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me 
may be in them, and I in them." 

Rom. V. 5, 8, 9: "Hope maketh not ashamed; 
because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts 
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 
God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while 
w^e were yet sinners Christ died for us. INIuch more 
then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be 
saved from wrath through him." 

Rom. viii. 32, 33: "He that spared not his own 
Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he 
not with him also freely give us all things? Who 
shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" 

Rom. viii. 38, 39: "For I am persuaded, that 
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, 
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 
nor height, ner depth, nor any other creature, shall 
be able to separate us from the love of God which is 
in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Rom. ix. 13: "As it is written, Jacob have I 
loved, but Esau have I hated." 

58 Calvinism and Evangelical Arnmiianism. 

Epli. ii. 4, 5: "But God, who is rich in mercy, 
for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when 
we were dead in sins, hath quickened us tog^ether 
with Christ. . . . That in the ages to come he 
might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his 
kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." 

Tit. iii. 4-7 : "But after that the kindness and love 
of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by 
works of righteousness which we have done, but ac- 
cording to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of 
regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost ; which 
he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our 
Saviour ; that being justified by his grace, we should 
be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." 

Heb. xiii. 5 : 'i For he hath said, I will never leave 
thee, nor forsake thee." 

I Jno. iii. i: "Behold, what manner of love the 
Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be 
called the sons of God." 

1 Jno. iv. 9, 10, 19: "In this was manifested the 
love of God toward us, because that God sent his only 
begotten Son into the world, that we might live 
through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, 
but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the pro- 
pitiation for our sins. . . . We love him because 
he first loved us." 

2 Thess. ii. 16, 17: "Now our Lord Jesus Christ 
himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved 
us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and 
good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and 
stablish you in every good word and work." 

To some of these proof-texts it is objected, that they 
have exclusive reference to Israel as a community 

Election Stated and Proved. 59 

elected to national privileges. Waiving now the con- 
siderations which will hereafter be adduced in answer 
to this objection, it is enough to say that the passages 
cannot possibly be limited to the outward nation of 
Israel apart from the true, spiritual Israel who are in 
Scripture emphatically characterized as the seed of 
Abraham and Jacob. Take the powerful passage 
quoted from the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah, as 
an example. The whole context in which it stands, 
and especially the great, evangelical promise which is 
connected with it, make it apparent that the electing 
love, which it proclaims, terminates not only on Is- 
raelitish and Jewish believers, but also on all God's 
true people, and is the fountain of spiritual and sav- 
ing blessings: ''Behold, the days come, saith the 
Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house 
of Israel and with the house of Judah : not according 
to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the 
day that I took them by the hand to bring them out 
of the land of Egypt, which my covenant they brake, 
although I was a husband to them, saith the Lord : 
but this shall be the covenant that I will make witJi 
the house of Israel ; After those days, saith the Lord, 
I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it 
in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall 
be my people. And they shall teach no more every 
man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 
Know the Lord : for they shall all know me, from the 
least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the 
Lord : for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will re- 
member their sin no more." 

The testimonies alleged from Scripture clearly re- 
veal the nature of God's electingr love. It is ex- 

6o Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

pressly declared to be eternal. It is peculiar : it is 
directed to the people of God. It is free, that is, 
sovereign and unconditioned upon any good quality 
or act in its objects. They are contemplated as in 
themselves condemned and polluted sinners. It is 
intense and inalienable : more so than that of a 
mother for the babe that sprung from her body and 
suckles her bosom. It is saving : it is the source of 
every benefit of redemption and the cause of preserva- 
tion to everlasting life. 

The fact that the passage in Titus declares that 
the kindness and love of God appeared in time can 
create no difficulty. That which was manifested in 
time must have eternally existed, for it is impossible 
to conceive that God be-gan to love in time — that a 
divine attribute had a temporal origin. 

Following the instructions of the Scriptures, we 
are constrained to admit that there are two distinct 
aspects of the divine love or goodness. One of these, 
in the form of benevolence, terminates on men indis- 
criminately, the just and the unjust, the evil and the 
good ; and, when it is directed to them as ill-deserv- 
ing and miserable, it assumes the special form of 
mercy. The other, the love of complacency, is a pe- 
culiar affection, supposing the existence in its sinful 
objects of a saving relation to Christ as Mediator, 
Federal Head and Redeemer. Now let it be sup- 
posed that the infinite benevolence of God, in the 
form of mercy contemplating the lost and wretched 
condition of man, into which he was conceived as 
having plunged himself by his sin and folly, sug- 
gested his salvation: "Deliver him from going 
down to the pit." Tliat suggestion was checked by 

Election Stated and Proved. 6i 

the demands of infinite justice, which could not be 
denied without a sacrifice of tlie divine glory: 
'Xursed is every one that continueth not in all 
things that are written in the book of the law to do 
them." For, although the attributes of God are all 
infinite, and cohere in his essence in perfect harmony 
with each other, the exercise of one may be limited 
by another. The exercise of mercy towards the 
fallen angels was checked by wisdom and by justice. 
It pleased God, in the case of human sinners, by a 
sovereign act of his will, to open a way for the out- 
going and exercise of his mercy in the salvation of a 
part of them, and to leave the w^ay open for the exer- 
cise of Ihs justice in the punishment of the remain- 
ing part. The Father, as the representative of the 
Godhead, "according to the good pleasure of his 
will," elected some of mankind to be redeemed. 
This, while it was a sovereign act of his will, in- 
volved the exercise of infinite love and mercy; and as 
the objects upon which the choice terminated were 
regarded simply as sinners, condemned and unholy, 
the love and mercy were free, mere love ?.:id mercy. 
"God commendeth his love toward us, in that while 
we were yet sinners Christ died for us," and, of 
course, the unmerited love which so illustriously ex- 
pressed itself on earth was eternal. Those thiLS des- 
ignated became the Father's elect ones, his sheep, 
whose redemption he had sovereignly determined to 
effect. Appointing, in infinite wisdom and love, the 
eternal Son as their ^lediator and Redeemer, the 
Father entered into covenant with him as Federal 
Head and Representative, and gave his elect sheep to 
him, that as their good Shepherd, he might, when 

62 Calvinism and Evangelical Aruiinianisni. 

incarnate, lay down his life for their redemption. 
"Thine they were," says the Saviour, ''and thou 
gavest them me." The Son, on his part, freely ac- 
cepted the momentous tiust, and engaged to lay 
down his life for them, to lose none of them, to give 
every one of them everlasting life and raise him up at 
the last day. "I am the good Shepherd: the good 
shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. . . . My 
sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they fol- 
low me : and I give unto them eternal life ; and they 
shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out 
of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is 
greater than all." "I came down from heaven not to 
do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, 
that of all which he hath given me I should lose 
nothing, but should raise it up again at the last 
day." Thus conceived as in Christ the elect became 
the objects of a complaceniial love, measured only by 
the regard of the Father for his weW-beloved Son. 
"Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast 
been honorable, and I have loved thee." "I," says 
the Lord Jesus, "have declared unto them thy name, 
and will declare it : that the love wdierewith thou 
hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." 

riiis love of complacency towards the elect is not 
to be confounded with God's love of benevolence 
tD wards all men. It includes the love of benevolence, 
but is inconceivably more. It differs from it in im- 
portant respects. In the first place, it supposes a pe- 
culiar relation of the elect to God's only-begotten 
Son, and is, according to scriptural representations, 
analoo:ous to the love the Father bears to him. In 

Election Stated and Proved. 63 

the second place, the gift of Christ which it specially 
makes to the elect, and in which it expresses its meas- 
ure, is infinitely more costly and precious than that of 
sunshine, rain and other mere providential blessings 
which benevolence indiscriminately confers upon the 
general mass of men. In the third place, the elect, 
although in themselves unlovely, are conceived as in 
Christ intrinsically possessed of the graces of the Holy 
Spirit, which render them appropriate objects of com- 
placential regard. It is this love, this peculiar, in- 
tense, unutterable love, which the Scriptures declare 
to be manifested towards the elect in the actual exe- 
cution of God's eternal purpose of salvation. 

It is manifested in the gift of his Son for their re- 
demption : " He that spared not his own Son, but de- 
livered him up for us all, how shall he not with him 
also freely give us all things?" Who these "all" 
are is to be collected from the next sentence : "Who 
shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" 
"Beloved, let us love one another. ... In this 
was manifested the love of God toward us, because 
that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, 
that we might live through him. Herein is love, not 
that we loved God but that he loved us, and sent his 
Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if 
God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." 
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us 
eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath 
the Son hath life ; and he that hath not the Son hath 
not life." 

It is manifested in their attraction to Christ. "No 
man can come to me except the Father which hath 
sent me draw him." "Yea, I have loved thee with 

64 Calvinisnt and Evangelical Arininianism. 

an everlasting love ; therefore with loving-kindness 
have I drawn thee." 

It is manifested in their regeneration. ''But God, 
who is. rich in nierc)', for his great love wherewith he 
loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quick- 
ened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 
and hath raised us up together, and made us sit to- 
gether in heavenly places in Christ Jesus ; that in the 
ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of 
his grace in his kindness tow^ards us through Christ 
Jesus." "But after that the kindness and love of 
God our Saviour tow^ard man appeared, not by works 
of righteousness which w^e have done, but according 
to -his mercy he saved us by the washing of regener- 
ation and renewing of the Holy Ghost." 

It is manifested in their justification and covenant 
union to God in Christ. "God commendeth his love 
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ 
died for us. ]\Iuch more then being justified by his 
blood, w^e shall be saved from wrath through him." 
"After that the kindness and love of God toward 
man appeared, . . . that being justified by liis grace, 
we should be made heirs according to the hope of 
eternal life." "And when I passed by thee, and saw 
thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee 
when thou wast in thy blood. Live; yea, I said unto 
thee when thou wast in thy blood, Uve. " Here was 
free, mere, eternal, electing love. "Now when I 
passed by thee and looked upon thee, behold thy time 
was the time of love ; and I spread my skirt over 
thee and covered thy nakedness : yea, I sware unto 
thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine." 
Here was the manifestation of electing love. 

Election Stated and Proved. 65 

It is manifested in their adoption. "Behold, what 
manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, 
that we should be called the sons of God : therefore 
the world knoweth us not because it knew him not." 

It is manifested in their sanctification. "The grace 
of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all 
men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and 
worldh^ lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and 
godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed 
hope, and the appearance of the great God and our 
Saviour Jesus Christ ; who gave himself for us, that 
he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto 
himself a peculiar people, zealous of good w^orks." 

And it is manifested in their comfort and preserva- 
tion to eternal glory. "Can a woman forget her 
sucking child, that she should not have compassion 
on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet 
will I not forget thee." "For a small moment have 
I forsaken thee ; but with great mercies will I gather 
thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a 
moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have 
mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer . . . For 
the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ; 
but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither 
shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the 
Lord that hath mercy on thee." "But we are bound 
to give thanks always to God for you, brethren be- 
loved of the Lord, because God hath from the begin- 
ning chosen you to salvation through sanctification 
of the Spirit and belief of the truth. . . . Now our 
Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father, 
which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting 
consolation and good hope through grace, comfort 

66 Calvmzsm and Evangelical Arminianism. 

your hearts and stablish you in every good word and 

In connection with this aspect of the subject of 
election, the Arminian doctrine is open to the charge 
of being entirely unscriptural. 

First, it destroys the difference which, it has been 
incontestably shown by the explicit testimony of 
Scripture, exists between God's love of benevolence 
for mankind in general and his love of complacency 
for his elect people in particular. This is proved by 
the fact that it represents God as having furnished the 
very highest expression of his love to all men indis- 
criminately : he gave his Son to die for all. The 
point here urged is, not that the Arminian is unscrip- 
tural in holding this doctrine, though that is true, but 
that in maintaining it he reduces the intense, inex- 
pressible, unchangeable affection which God from 
eternity entertained for his own people to a general 
regard for all sinners of the human race — his love for 
his sheep to a love for goats. If God gave his dear 
Son to die equally for all, he loved all with an equal 
love. The consequence is irresistible, but it is in the 
face of the plainest declarations of the divine Word. 

Tke Arminian will, of course, reply, that there is 
no plainer declaration of that Word than that God 
so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not per- 
ish but have everlasting life. To this the rejoinder 
is inevitable, that if his construction of that passage be 
correct, the Word of God would contradict itself For 
it would be a contradiction, if the gift of Christ were 
affirmed at one and the same time to be and not to be 
the expression of a peculiar love of complacency. We 

Election Stated and Proved. 67 

are shut up to a choice between these contradictories, 
one of which must be true, the other false. The 
weight of testimony is overwhelmingly in favor of 
the first alternative, and by that a regard for evidence 
compels us to abide. 

The same remarks will apply to other and less for- 
cible passages, which are ordinarily pleaded in sup- 
port of the love of God, and a consequent atonement, 
for every individual of the human race. They are all 
capable of being debated ; but to dispute about the 
assertions of Scripture touching the eternal, peculiar 
and inalienable love of God for his chosen people, is 
not to inquire into their meaning but to deny their 
authority. IMore at present will not be said upon this 
particular aspect of the subject. A fuller discussion 
of it is reserved to a consideration of the objections 
to the Calvinistic doctrine which are derived from the 
moral attributes of God. 

Secondly, the unscriptural character of the Ar- 
minian's denial of electing love is made apparent by 
his denial of the fruits which spring from it. The 
Scriptures represent it as a cause which produces very 
definite results. We have seen, by a direct reference 
to their testimony, that the drawing of the sinner to 
Christ, his regeneration and justification, adoption, 
sanctification and preservation to everlasting felicitv, 
are attributed to it. These inestimable benefits the 
Arminian ascribes to the general love of God for 
mankind, but his system compels him to deny that 
they flow with certainty from it. They are contin- 
gent results. Why? Because that love does not of 
itself ensure their production : the will of the sinner 
is their real, efficient cause, and as that acts con- 

68 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

tingently, the results may or may not be effected. 
The love of God o-ives him the opportunity, fur- 
nishes him what is called sufficient grace, provides 
for him a ground of acceptance in the atoning merit 
of Christ ; but he must improve the opportunity, he 
must use the grace, he must accept the offered atone- 
ment. He may not do any of these things ; and co<i- 
sequently in innumerable instances no saving results 
follow from the love of God to men. The mere 
statement of the doctrine is sufficient to evince its 
contrariety to scriptural truth. The fact is, that as 
the Arminian denies electing love, he is obliged to 
deny that it produces any fruit : no cause, no effect. 
The denial of the latter proves the unscriptural char- 
acter of the denial of the former. If anything be 
clearly revealed in the Word of God it is that saving 
results are produced with certainty by the love of 
God for sinners : it is a saving love. If, therefore, in 
the case of some men those results are not produced, 
it follows irresistibly that the saving love of God 
does not terminate on all, and that, as it takes effect 
on some only, it is electing love. 

Should the Arminian contend that he is not cor- 
rectly represented, and that he admits a special love 
of God for his saints, the answer must be rendered, 
that whatever his view may be of that love, he does 
not regard it as saving. It is conceded that he holds 
the gift of Christ for the world to have been the fruit 
of love and mercy. But for what end did God send 
his Son into the world? He answers: to die for all 
men. His doctrine, however, is that the Son did not 
die to save all men. If he did, he failed to attain 
that end, for the Arminian allows that manv are lost. 

Election Stated and Proved. 69 

For what, then, did Christ die? He replies : to make 
the salvation of all men possible. How possible? In 
this way, he says : if men believe in Christ and con- 
tinue in faith to the end, they will be saved. The 
atonement secures for them that possibility. But on 
the supposition that some believe, become saints, and 
are especially dear to God, they may cease to be saints 
and perish forever. Whatever, then, may be, accord- 
ing to the Arminian view, the love of God towards 
his saints, it is a love which does not secure their sal- 
vation : it is not a saving love. It is not equal to the 
love which a mother cherishes for her child. She 
would save him if she could. This reputed divine 
love may be called a special love, but it is not the 
love for his saints which the Scriptures assign to 
God. The idea of it was not born of inspiration : 
God never claimed such love as his own. 

Thirdly, the determination to save those who, God 
foresees, will believe and persevere in faith and holi- 
ness to the end — the Arminian election — is not the 
fruit of mere, free love : it is partly the suggestion of 
justice. As their salvation is suspended upon their 
faith and perseverance, it is due to them, upon their 
fulfilment of the condition, that they should receive 
the end. Justice recognizes this foreknown fulfilment 
of the condition precedent, and adjudges to them the 
salvation which God himself made to depend upon it. 
Mercy makes the condition possible, it is true ; but 
justice demands the rewarding of its performance. 
This conclusion could only be avoided by making 
faith and perseverance in holy obedience the products 
of efficacious grace. But that would be the doctrine of 
Hypothetical Redemption, not of Arminianism. The 

70 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni, 

advocate of the former scheme concurs with the Ar- 
miniaii in holding the universality of the atonement, 
but he differs from him in asserting the predestinated 
efficacy of grace. That the Arminian denies. In the 
last analysis, then, as Dr. Miner Raymond coolly but 
honestly puts it, "man determines the question of 
his salvation ;" and if so, it is but right and just that 
God should acknowledge the fact. God appoints the 
condition : believe and persevere ; but he cannot 
make the sinner believe and persevere. "Our human 
system," says Dr. Whedon,"^ "is a system of free 
agents upon whose will and determination it depends 
whether they attain eternal bliss or eternal woe. . . . 
In the sinner's act of acceptance of God's saving 
grace we promptly deny any 'make-willing' on the 
part of God which excludes man's power of not-will- 
ing or refusing. God demands a free acceptance. He 
does not make a farce of our probation by first requir- 
ing our free-willing, and then imposing upon us a 
'make-willing.' The free-willing and the 'make- 
willing' are incompatible." The sinner, then, must 
himself, by his own improvement of assisting grace, 
believe and persevere. Well, he does it. What 
then? Why, he has performed the condition, won 
the reward, and justice, assisted by grace, places the 
crown upon his head ! It is perfectly plain that the 
Arminian doctrine does not refer the determination to 
save sinners to the mere love of God : it ascribes it in 
part to God's sense of justice. Whatever the Arniin- 
ian's reason may say about this doctrine, it is cer- 
tainly the poles apart from scriptural truth. 

7. The GroitJid or Reason of election — positively^ 

* Comni. on Rom., ch. ii. 

Election Stated and Proved. 71 

the mere good pleasure of God's sovereign will; neg- 
atively^ nothing in the elect themselves. This answers 
the question, Why did God elect? 

(i.) The ground or reason of election is, positively, 
the mere good pleasure of God's sovereign will. 

Dent. vii. 7, 8: ''The Lord did not set his love 
upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in 
number than any people ; for ye were the fewest of all 
people : but because the Lord loved you, and because 
he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto 
your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a 
mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of 
bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt." 

Deut. iv. ^n '- "And because he loved thy fathers, 
therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought 
thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of 

Dan. iv. 35: "He doeth according to his will in 
the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of 
the earth : and none can stay his hand, or say unto 
him, What doest thou?" — a confession wrung from 
even a heathen monarch. 

Matt. xi. 25, 26 : "At that time Jesus answered and 
said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, because thou hast hid these things from the 
wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes. 
Even so. Father: for so it seemed good in thy siglit." 

Ex. XXX. 19: "And he said, I will make all my 
goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the 
name of the Lord before thee : and I wnll be gracious 
to whom I will be gracious, and I will shew mercy to 
whom I will shew mercy." 

"Alal. i. 2, 3: "Was not Esau Jacob's brother? 
saith the Lord : yet Iloved Jacob and I hated Esau." 

72 Calvinism and Evangelical Anjiinianism. 

Rom. ix. 11-16: "For the children being not yet 
born, neither having done any good or evil, that the 
purpose of God according to election might stand, 
not of works, but of him that calleth ; it was said 
unto her. The elder shall serve the younger. As it is 
written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness 
with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I 
will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I 
will have compassion on whom I will have compas- 
sion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of 
him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." 

I Cor. i. 21 : "For after that in the wisdom of God 
the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God 
by the foolishness of preaching to save them that be- 

Eph. i. 5, 9-1 1 : "Having predestinated us unto 
the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, 
according to the good pleasure of his will. 
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, 
according to his good pleasure which he hath pur- 
posed in himself: that in the dispensation of the ful- 
ness of times he might gather together in one all 
things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which 
are on earth ; even in him : in whom also we have 
obtained an inheritance, being predestinated accord- 
ing to the purpose of him who worketh all things 
after the counsel of his own will." 

Phil. ii. 13 : "For it is God which worketh in you 
both to will and to do of his good pleasure." 

The Scripture testimonies which have thus been 
collected clearly and powerfully prove, that the God, 
who, even according to Nebuchadnezzar's confession, 

Election Stated and Proved. 73 

doetli according to his will in the army of heaven ai»id 
among the inhabitants of the earth, whose hand none 
can stay and to whom none can say, What doest thou? 
has decreed the salvation of some of the human race, 
According to his mere, sole, sovereign pleasure. The 
statements of this fact are express and unequivocal. 
Nothing but adherence to a system could lead one 
who reverences God's word to deny their force. The 
objects of the divine decree are declared to be pre- 
destinated unto the adoption of children and to an 
inheritance in Christ, according to the good pleasure 
of God's will, according to his good pleasure which 
he hath purposed in himself, according to the purpose 
of him who workelli all thino-s after the counsel of 


his own will. In one short passage the assertion is 
made again and again, with impressive reiteration, as 
if to preclude all shadow of doubt, that the ground 
of election is alone tjie sovereign pleasure of the 
divine will. There can be no question as to the 
objects of the decree : they are those who are adopted 
as the children of God in Christ, those who obtain an 
inheritance in Christ. Nor can there be any question 
as to the existence of the decree : it is termed a pre- 
destinating purpose. Nor can there be any question 
as to the seat of this predestinating decree : it is 
affirmed to be the will of God. Nor, finally, can 
there be any question as to its absoluteness : it is pre- 
cisely described as purposed in himself, according to 
his good pleasure. There is no place for supposing 
any reference to an extrinsic ground, reason, or con- 
dition. The purpose, as to its origination and ground, 
is intrinsic to God, purely sovereign and absolutely 
unconditioned by anything ab extra. The objects 

74 Calviiiisni and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

upon whom it terminated were extraneous to God ; 
but the purpose itself was as free as it was subjective 
to him. Every individual human being to whom it 
was directed might have been justly consigned with 
the revolted angels to hell. 

The passage in Philippians discharges, in relation 
to this question, a twofold office. In the first place, 
it shows, positively, that the whole application of 
redemption springs from the good pleasure of God's 
will ; and, in the second place, negatively, as with a 
devouring edge it cuts away the supposition that any- 
thing in the creature can condition the purpose of 
God to save. It declares that the willing and the 
doing — the whole of the obedience of the Christian 
man — is determined by the will of God working ac- 
cording to his good pleasure. In few but pregnant 
words, a conclusive testimony is rendered to the effi- 
cacious grace of God as the expression and realization 
of the eternal purpose of his will. 

Our blessed Lord and Saviour spoke very definitely 
in regard to this subject. After mentioning the 
sovereign distinction which God in his providence 
had made between the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida 
and Capernaum on the one hand, and Tyre, Sidon 
and Sodom on the other, in giving the gospel to the 
former and withholding it from the latter, he answers 
objections which might be rendered to this divine 
procedure and all others like it by saying, "I thank 
thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because 
thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent 
and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: 
for so it seemed good in thy sight." He solemnly 
expresses his acquiescence in the divine sovereignty 

• Etection Stated and Proved. 75 

which refuses a saving knowledge of redemption to 
some and grants it to others. To say that the proud 
debar themselves from it is futile, for God could, if 
he so willed, in a moment overcome their pride, as he 
did in the case of Saul of Tarsus, a typical repre- 
sentative of the very class who were cavilling at the 
Saviour's doctrine and rejecting his offer of the 
o-ospel. Nor can the Arminian consistently urge this 
construction of the language of our Lord, since he 
admits that Tvre, Sidon and Sodom would have 
accepted the gospel had it been tendered to them 
supported by miraculous proofs. Why, then, did 
God denv it to them? What answer can be given by 
the Arminian himself to this question, but that so it 
seemed good in God's sight? He admits, I say, that 
the cities specified would have repented if the gospel 
had been preached to them, for this is one of the 
passages which he adduces to support his doctrine of 
a scientia vudm-^ conditional foreknowledge of 
God. ' He foreknew that if the gospel were fur- 
nished to those cities they would repent. Why then 
did God not furnish them the gospel? It is hard to 
see how one who denies the sovereignty of election, 
and affirms the indiscriminate love of God for all 
mankind, can answer that question. 

It is objected that the proofs derived from the 
passaoes in Exodus, Deuteronomy, IMalachi and the 
nintirchapter of Romans are irrelevant, because they 
refer not to the election of individuals to salvation, 
but of a nation to peculiar privileges. This question 
has long been discussed by^commentatoi^^ 
■-T^^^;^^^;;;^^^;^:^^;^:^^^ Xew York, 1840. Here the 

doctrine is approved. 

76 Calvinism and Evangelical Arjninianism. 

logians, but it has a fresh interest for every genera- 
tion. Arguments in answer to the above-mentioned 
objection are here briefly presented. 

First, the objection concedes the principle of a 
sovereign and unconditional election. Why, argues 
God with Israel, did I swear unto your fathers 
and bring them into covenant relation tome? Be- 
cause, he answers, I loved them. Why did he love 
them? The reply is, that it was not because of any 
qualities he saw in them which distinguished them 
favorably from other peoples, but because such was 
his sovereign pleasure. If, therefore, it be admitted 
that God chose Israel from among the nations with 
whom they had been equally immersed in idolatry, 
and without any reference to pre-disposing conditions 
in them elevated them to a special relation to himself 
and the enjoyment of peculiar blessings, the principle 
of an unconditional election is clearly conceded. The 
objection to a specific application of the principle, 
namely, to individuals in regard to salvation, pro- 
ceeds upon the acknowledgment of the principle 
itself. It is confessed that a nation was uncondition- 
ally elected to peculiar privileges. 

Secondly, the election of a nation to peculiar privi- 
leges of a religious nature, involving a knowledge of 
redemption, was the election of individuals to those 
religious privileges, for they were the components of 
the nation. The election of a nation, considered ab- 
stractly and apart from the individuals forming it, 
would be unintelligible. The individuals constitut- 
ing the nation were, by the election of the nation, 
brought into contact with these peculiar religious 
privileges. Those who were not connected with the 

Election Stated and Proved. yj 

nation elected were divinely exchided from contact 
with them. It follows that the principle of a sover- 
eien, nnconditional election was exhibited in relation 
to individuals. The individuals of one nation were 
discriminated from the individuals of another. 

Thirdly, the individuals of the nation elected were 
brousrht into relation to the conditions of salvation — 
the only conditions upon which salvation could be 
attained. Their election to national privileges of a 
religious and redemptive character conditioned their 
attainment of eternal salvation. Here then was a 
sovereign, unconditional election of individuals to 
conditions without which their salvation would have 
been unattainable. The objector admits that this 
election rendered their salvation more probable, than 
it would otherwise have been ; but he denies that it 
necessarily conditioned salvation, that without it sal- 
vation would have been impossible. This question 
will be argued at length when the objections to un- 
conditional election from the moral attributes of God 
come to be examined. At present a few considera- 
tions drawn immediately from Scripture are sub- 
mitted. They are conclusive upon the point. 

In the first place, the great argument of Paul in 
Romans proves that no individual of the human race 
can be justified and saved except through faith in the 
vicarious merits of Christ. This cannot be success- 
fully gainsaid. 

In the second place, Paul, in the tenth chapter of 
the same epistle, declares that no individual of the 
race can exercise faith in Christ, except he has heard 
of him. Faith in Christ conditions salvation, and 
the knowledo^e of Christ conditions faith in him. 

/S Calvinism and Evangelical Annijiianisni. 

*'How shall they believe in him of whom they have 
not heard?" 

In the third place, God's Word explicitly asserts that 
no man under heaven can he saved except through 
the name of Christ, that is, of course, through the 
knowledge of that saving name. "Neither is there 
salvation in any other : for there is none other name 
under heaven given among men, whereby we must 
be saved." 

In the fourth place, Paul, in the second chapter of 
Ephesians, closes the case by furnishing the concrete 
proof. The Ephesian Christians had been heathen, 
that is, they at one time did not know the gospel of 
Christ. Now the apostle tells them that at that time 
they were in a hopeless condition : their salvation 
would have been impossible had that state of ignor- 
ance continued. The argument is plain and over- 
whelming. "At that time ye were without Christ." 
Why? "Ye were aliens from the commonwealth of 
Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise." 
Because they were not connected with the nation of 
Israel they did not know the gospel ; and because 
they did not know the gospel they could not know 
Christ. Hence, they had "no hope and were with- 
out God in the world." Without connection with 
the visible church, they had no knowledge of the 
gospel ; therefore they were without Christ, without 
God and without hope. 

These arguments from Scripture are sufficient to 
prove, that the unconditional election of a nation to 
peculiar privileges, of a religious and redemptive char- 
acter, is the unconditional election of the individuals 
composing it to conditions, upon which alone eternal 

Election Stated and Proved. 79 

salvation is attainable. Now it is manifest, that 
other nations were not excluded from access to the 
means of salvation because they were morally worse 
than the Israelites, and that the Israelites were not 
elected to the enjovment of those means because they 
were morally better than other peoples. It was then 
by virtue of God's sovereign, unconditional election, 
that the nations rejected were left in an idolatrous 
and heathenish state in which they were not salvable, 
and that the Israelites were introduced into a state in 
which they possessed the means of salvation. If the 
operation of the principle of sovereignty in election 
went thus far, why should it not be admitted that it 
went farther — that it also manifested itself in produc- 
ing actual salvation? Some of the Israelites them- 
selves were not actually saved ; some of them were. 
The presumption afforded by the analogy of the case 
would lie in favor of the unconditional election to sal- 
vation of such as were actually saved. All were, by 
reason of a sinful nature, equally indisposed to make 
a profitable use of the means of grace, to employ the 
conditions of salvation. None were more worthy 
than others of the grace which would enable and 
determine them to look through a sacrificial ritual 
and typical ordinances to the only true sacrifice for 
sin, and believe in him to salvation. The presump- 
tion, I say, is in favor of the conclusion that a divine 
election made the difference between the two classes 
— the unsaved and the saved. The principle of 
sovereign election would, in its application, have 
proceeded but a step farther. A long step ! it will be 
said. Yes, but the Almighty God can take long 
steps. He treads upon the mountains and the stormy 

8o Calvinism and Evano^elical Arminianism. 


seas, and he can triumphantly march over all diffi- 
culties raised by sin and hell to the eternal salvation 
of the soul. 

This powerful presumption is confirmed by all those 
testimonies of Scripture already quoted which un- 
questionably prove, that the proximate end of the 
election of individuals is everlasting life, and by all 
those yet to be cited wdiicli as unquestionably prove, 
that the conditions of final salvation are not the con- 
ditions of election — that faith and perseverance in 
holy obedience are themselves the fruits of election : 
that, indeed, they are parts of salvation begun on 
earth and completed in heaven. 

Fourthly, let it be admitted that Jacob and Esau 
were the respective heads of different nations, and it 
cannot be denied that they were also individuals. 
The language of Scripture in regard to them cannot, 
without violence, be confined to them as national 
heads. It refers to them chiefly as persons in relation 
to the divine purpose. Meyer, whose commentaries 
are held in high repute for critical ability and ex- 
egetical fairness, and who certainly was not influenced 
by a partisan zeal for Calvinism, says: "Paul, how- 
ever, has in view, as the entire context, vv. lo, ii, 13 
evinces, in 'the elder and the younger' (the greater 
and the lesser) EsaiL and Jacob themselves^ not their 
nations y^ He meets the difficultv ur^ed against 
this interpretation from the declaration, that "the 
elder shall serve the younger," which, it is contended, 
was only fulfilled in the national subjection of the 
Edomites, the descendants of Esau, to the Israelites, 
the descendants of Jacob, in this way : "The fulfill- 

^Ou Rom., ch. ix, 11, 12. 

Election Stated and Proved. 8i 

meiit of the 'serving' is to be found in the theocratic 
subjection into which Esau was reduced through the 
loss of his birthright and of the paternal blessing, 
whereby the theocratic lordship passed to Jacob. But 
inasmuch as in Genesis the two brothers are set forth 
as representatives of the nations, and their persons 
and their destiny are not consequently excluded,— as, 
indeed, the relation indicated in the divine utterance 
took its beginning with the brothers themselves, by 
virtue of the preference of Jacob through the paternal 
blessing,— the apostle's apprehension of the passage, 
as he adapts it to his connection, has its ground and 
its warrant, -^specially in view of similar hermeneutic 
freedom in the use of Old Testament expressions."^ 
We would not tie ourselves to the opinions of com- 
mentators on the Bible, remembering the frailty 
which made possible the biting sarcasm of Werenfels: 

"This is the Book where each his dogmas seeks, 
And this the Book where each his dogmas finds ;" 

but this impartial witness is true. His appeal to the 
immediate context is conclusive enough, and the 
appeal, along with it, to the whole drift of the argu- 
ment in Romans, and the whole analogy of Scripture 
is absolutely decisive. 

Let us for the nonce part these twins, and look at 
Jacob by himself. It is very certain that the Holy 
Ghost speaking through Paul declares him to have 
been, in some sense, elected. The Arminian objects 
to an unconditional election to eternal life. Now he 
must admit that Jacob's election, whatever may have 
been its end, was uncondit ional. The apostle ex- 
^Qw Rom., ch. ix, ii, 12. 

82 Calvinism a7id Evangelical Arminia^iisni. 

pressly teaches that it was not because God regarded 
him as a doer of good that he elected him. He 
could not have so taught, if it were true that his 
election was conditioned upon the divine foresight of 
his good works. He might have employed as illus- 
trative of his argument the instances of Isaac and 
Ishmael, the children of Abraham, the father of be- 
lievers ; but those of Jacob and Esau were evidently 
more to his purpose ; for there was in themselves no 
possible ground of difference between these two 
brothers. They were not only the cliildren of tlie 
same father, but, as w^as not the case with Isaac and 
Ishmael, the children of the same mother; and they 
were twins. What could have made the difference 
between their persons and their destinies but the 
mere unconditioned purpose of God? But it is need- 
less further to press a point which can only be re- 
sisted by denying the truth of the inspired Word. 
The Arminian concedes it. 

But he admits, as has been shown by a reference to 
representative theologians, the election of some indi- 
viduals to eternal life. He must also, upon his prin- 
ciples, admit that Jacob was elected to eternal salva- 
tion. He was in life the exemplar of urgent and 
successful prayer, a prince that had power with God 
and prevailed, and in Hebrews he is said to have died 
by faith. Having believed in Christ, and done good 
works, and persevered in them to the end, he was, of 
course, elected to eternal life. Now why not put the 
two things together : the unconditional election of 
Jacob, which is conceded to be stated by Paul in 
Romans, and his election to eternal life, which is 
also granted ? Why not admit the teaching of Scrip- 

Election Stated and Proved. 83 

tare to be, that Jacob was iiiicoiiditionally elected to 
eternal life? The only possible answer is, Becanse 
Paul in Romans speaks only of Jacobus election to 
temporal blessings. The point then to be proved is 
that Paul speaks of Jacob's election not only to tem- 
poral blessings, but also to salvation. 

The first proof is, that the whole tenor and strain 
of the apostle's argument in Romans has chief ref- 
erence to the justification and salvation of individual -tC 
sinners. Consequently, to divert his discourse con- 
cerning election, which is a constituent element of 
that argument, into another direction, is to wrench it 
from its track. 

The second proof is, that in the immediate context 
Paul treats of the promise made by God to Abraham's 
children, and he shows that Jacob was constituted an 
heir of that promise by divine election. To say that 
this illustrious promise guaranteed, exclusively or 
even chiefly, temporal blessings, is to eviscerate the 
Scriptures of their meaning. Paul's argument con- 
cerning the promise in Galatians as well as in Ro- 
mans would be contradicted. The promise conveyed 
spiritual and saving blessings. To take any other 
view is to strip the Old Testament of its evangelical 
element and reduce the New Testament exposition of 
it to absurdity. Jacob, therefore, was elected to 
share in the promise of salvation ; that is, as a pro- 
mised salvation is not an earned salvation he was 
elected to salvation. 

The third proof is, that the apostle expressly dis- 
tinguishes between the natural and the spiritual seed 
of Abraham. It is only the latter, argues he, who 
are the children of God. In immediate connection 

84 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminiaitisin. 

with this he introduces the cases of Jacob and Esau 
as illustrative of that distinction. Both were the 
carnal descendants of Abraham, but only Jacob, of 
the two, was one of his spiritual children, and there- 
fore one of the children of God. How was he consti- 
tuted such? Not by natural descent, but by God's 
election of him irrespectively of his works. Jacob's 
election was therefore to adoption into God's family, 
and, as God never loses any of his adopted children, 
to eternal life. 

The fourth proof is, that God's saints are explicitly 
said in Scripture to be elected unto faith, holy obedi- 
ence and perseverance in the same to the end. Jacob 
was an eminent saint of God. In calling himself the 
God of Jacob, Deity himself pays a tribute to the 
exemplary sanctity of his servant. Jacob therefore 
was elected to faith, holiness and perseverance in 
them to the end — that is, he was elected to salvation. 
If this be not the election which Paul treats of in the 
ninth of Romans, the principal election of Jacob is 
left out of account, and the less is signalized. 

These proofs establish the fact that the election of 
Jacob was not merely to temporal blessings, and 
that consequently it was an unconditional election, 
grounded in the sovereign will of God, to eternal 
salvation. What is the difficulty that opposes the 
admission of these proofs? It is two-fold : 

In the first place, the freedom and sovereignty of 
the human will would be impugned. God, it is 
argued, having endowed the will with these preroga- 
tives cannot, consistently with himself, determine it 
by his agency. To admit unconditional election is 
to admit this divine determination of the will. It 

Election Stated and Proved. 85 

will hereafter, in the progress of the discussion, be 
shown that nnless nnconditional election along with 
this admitted inference be received, one ninst hold 
the only other alternative, namely, that the hnnian 
will, and the luiman will of the natural man, deter- 
mines the question of salvation; which is unscrip- 
tural, impossible and absurd. If Jacob was not de- 
termined to salvation by God's grace, he determined 
himself to it; and if anything is certain, it is, that 
Paul never taught such a view. 

In the second place, it is contended that if the 
sovereign, unconditional election of Jacob to salvation 
be admitted, one must also concede the sovereign, 
unconditional reprobation of Esau ; but that, it is 
contended, cannot possibly be allowed. Here a dis- 
tinction, which has been already stated, must be ob- 
served — between Jacob and Esau as both possessed of 
oriorinal sin, and Ivinq: toi2:ether under condemnation 
as members of a fallen and corrupt race, on the one 
hand, and Jacob and Esau as the conscious doers of 
actual good or evil, on the other. Regarded as in the 
former condition, they were equally damnable. God 
might justly have left both to the doom which was 
assigned to Esau. But without regard to the con- 
scious, special good works of Jacob, as conditions, he 
was sovereignly pleased to confer on him peculiar 
religious privileges and his saving grace ; and with- 
out regard to the conscious, special bad works of 
Esau, as conditions, he was sovereignly pleased to 
deny him peculiar religious privileges and his saving 
grace. It is certain that the peculiar religious privi- 
leges were denied to Esau, but the denial to him of 
saving grace is the stumbling-block. 

86 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

Now let it be noticed tliat God did not infuse a 
wicked disposition into Ksau, as lie infused a gracious 
disposition into Jacob. Finding Bsau wicked, he 

I sovereignly left him in that condition, and judicially 
condemned him to suffer its punishment. Finding 

■ Jacob, like his brother, wicked, he sovereignly lifted 
him out of that condition by his unmerited grace, 
and in Christ his representative and substitute de- 
livered him from condemnation and destined him to 

Let it be noticed further, that God's exclusion of 
Esau from connection with the Theocracy, contain- 
ing the visible Church of Christ with its ordinances, 
which is admitted, was equivalent to God's exclusion 
of him from liis favor which is life and his dooming 
him to reprobacy. If it be said, that Esau's exclusion 
from the fellowship of God's people was in conse- 
quence of his sins, the apostle answers that it was not 
in consequence of his sins. Before he had done any 
evil he was hated of God. It will still be said : that 
is true ; but while the purpose of exclusion was be- 
fore Esau's actual sins, it was not before God's fore- 
knowledge of them, and that foreknowledge con- 
ditioned the purpose : this must have been Paul's 
meaning. But, it must be replied, this could not 
have been Paul's meaning. He could not have in- 
tended to distinguish between Esau's actual evil- 
doing and God's foreknowledge of it. He could not 
liave meant to imph', that in some cases God foinns a 
purpose to punish an evil-doer after he has done the 
evil, but that in this case of Esau he purposed, before 
he actually did evil, to punish him, because he fore- 
saw that he would do the evil. Such a conception 

Election Stated and Proved. 87 

never was suggested by inspiration as that God ever 
postpones the formation of a pnrpose to punish sin 
until the sin has been committed. All his purposes 
are eternal. The only supposition possible is, tliat 
Paul meant to say that it was not because God fore- 
knew that Esau would do evil that he purposed to 
reject him. This being the only possible supposition, 
the conclusion is that Paul meant to affirm that God's 
purpose as to Esau's rejection was grounded alone in 
his own sovereign pleasure. 

God's decree to reject Esau was not, then, without 
his foreknowledge of Esau's guilty state as a sinner, 
but was not conditioned upon his foreknowledge of 
Esau's conscious, actual sins. So God's decree to 
save Jacob was not without his foreknowledge of 
Jacob's guilty state as a sinner, but was not con- 
ditioned upon his foreknowledge of Jacob's conscious, 
actual good works. If this statement of the case is 
not in accord with Paul's, nothing would remain but 
to adopt the rigid Supralapsarian view. The Ar- 
minian position cannot be harmonized with that of 
the inspired apostle. 

It has thus been shown that the account of Jacob 
and Esau in the ninth chapter of Romans so far from 
invalidating, actually confirms, the proofs of the 
sovereignty and unconditionality of God's electing 
purpose. The subject of reprobation will meet fur- 
ther consideration in the sequel. Let us resume the 
thread of the main argument which goes to show that 
the passages cited, to prove that the ground or reason 
of election is the mere good pleasure of God's will, 
from Exodus, Deuteronomy, ■Nlalachi and Romans, 
do not refer only to a national election to peculiar 

88 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni, 

privileges, but chiefly to an individual election to 
eternal life. 

Fifthly, Paul in Romans and Galatians explicitly 
distinguishes between those whom, on the one hand^ 
he designates as Israel according to the flesh, outward 
Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham, and those 
whom, on the other, he characterizes as Israel accord- 
ing to the Spirit, inward Jews, the true, spiritual 
children of Abraham and heirs of the promise. Both 
these classes had been elected to the enjoyment of 
peculiar privileges, but it is remarkable that he terms 
the latter *'a remnant according to the election of 
grace.'' Here then is a palpable distinction between 
a national election to privileges and an individual 
election to salvation. Without it the apostle's lan- 
guage is unintelligible. 

Sixthly, the consideration which is perhaps the 
most conclusive is, that these passages cannot be 
wrested from their place in the analogy of Scripture. 
They must be construed in harmony with such clear 
and powerful testimonies as that which has been ad- 
duced from the Epistle to the Ephesians. To pursue 
any other course is to mutilate the integrity of God's 
Word. What is gained by it on the part of those who 
admit an election of individuals to everlasting life, it 
is difficult to imagine. 

Lastly, the objections which have nearly always 
been offered to Paul's doctrine in Romans have not 
been urged against an election to national privileges, 
but to an unconditional election of individuals to 
salvation. Those who present them have hit the 
point : that is to say, they understand Paul to teach 
this objectionable doctrine, and they cannot agree 

Election Stated and Proved. 89 

with him. It is not probable that the opponents 
alike of the Pauline and the Calvinistic doctrine have 
been mistaken as to the identity of the two. It is 
more consistent, if not more pious, to hold that both 
are erroneous as teaching the same thing, than with 
the Arminians to make Paul an antagonist of the 
Calvinistic doctrine, which, as some candid infidel 
remarked, is as much like his own as if he had spit it 
out of his mouth. 

(2.) Negatively, election is not conditioned by the 
divine foresight of any good qualities, dispositions or 
acts of those who are elected : it is an unconditional 

First^ All the passages which were adduced to 
prove that the ground or reason of election was the 
mere good pleasure of God's sovereign will may here 
be used to show that election is unconditioned by any 
foreseen good qualities, dispositions or acts of man. 

Secondly^ Faith is not a condition but a result of 

John vi. l-] \ '' All that the Father giveth me shall 
come to me" — that is, shall believe in me. 

John vi. 65 : ''And he said. Therefore said I unto 
you, that no man can come unto me, except it were 
given unto him of my Father." 

Acts xiii. 48 : "As many as were ordained to eter- 
nal life believed." 

Eph. ii. 8: "For by grace are ye saved through 
faith ; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of 

Phil. i. 29: "For unto you it is given in the be- 
half of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to 
suffer for his sake." 

90 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianisni. 

Acts xiv. 27: "And when they were come, and 
had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all 
that God had done with them, and how he had 
opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles." 

Acts xvi. 14: "And a certain woman named 
Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, 
which worshipped God, heard us : whose heart the 
Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which 
were spoken of Paul." 

Acts V. 31 : "A Prince and a Saviour, for to give 
repentance to Israel." Repentance is here generic, 
including faith. 

Lk. xvii. 5: "And the apostles said unto the 
Lord, Increase our faith." 

Heb. xii. 2: "Looking unto Jesus the author and 
the finisher of our faith." 

Col. ii. 12 : "Buried with him in baptism, wherein 
also ye are risen with him through the faith of the 
operation of God" — that is, the faith which God's 
operation produces. 

I Cor. xii. 9: "To another, faith by the same 

John iii. 3 : "Except a man be born again, he can 
not see the kingdom of God." 

Eph. ii. 4-6: "But God who is rich in mercy, for 
his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we 
were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with 
Christ, (by grace ye are saved ;) and hath raised us 
up together." 

I Tim. i. 9: "Who hath saved us, and called us 
with an holy calling, not according to our works, but 
according to his own purpose and grace, which was 
given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." 

Elcclioi Stated and Proved. oi 

Jas. i. i8 : "Of his own will begat he ns." 
I Cor. i. 26-31 : "For ye see 3-our calling-, brethren, 
how that not many wise men after the flesh, not 
many mighty, not many noble, are called : but God 
hath chosen the foolish things of the world to con- 
found the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak 
things of the world to confound the things which are 
mighty; and base things of the world, and things 
which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things 
which are not, to bring to nought things that are : 
that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him 
are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us 
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and 
redemption : that according as it is written. He that 
glorieth let him glory in the Lord." 

These testimonies conclusively prove that faith is 
not a condition but a fruit of election. It does not 
condition it, for it is produced by it. The Lord 
Jesus explicitly declares that faith is the gift of God, 
and that if God did not give it, no man could believe. 
Further he declares that the elect shall believe in 
him. It is they who were given him by the Father. 
If all men were given him by the Father, then, ac- 
cording to his testimony, all men would believe in 
him. But all men do not believe. The conclusion 
is, that those believe in him who were elected to 

In the celebrated passage in the second chapter of 
Ephesians, the words "and that not of yourselves, it 
is the gift of God" have by some been understood to 
refer to salvation— and that salvation is not of your- 
selves, it is the gift of God; by others, specifically to 
faith — and that faith is not of yourselves, it is the 

92 Calvinzsju and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

gift of God. The following reasons furnished by 
Charles Hodge in support of the latter view appear to 
my mind convincing: " i. It best suits the design of 
the passage. The object of the apostle is to show the 
gratuitous nature of salvation. This is most effectu- 
ally done by saying, 'Ye are not only saved by faith 
in opposition to works, but your very faith is not of 
yourselves, it is the gift of God.' 2. The other in- 
terpretation makes the passage tautological. To say: 
'Ye are saved by faith; not of yourselves; your sal- 
vation is the gift of God; it is not of works,' is 
saying the same thing over and over without any 
progress. Whereas to say : ' Ye are saved through 
faith (and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of 
God), not of works,' is not repititious; the parenthet- 
ical clause instead of being redundant does good 
service and greatly increases the force of the passage. 
3. According to this interpretation, the antithesis 
between faith and works, so common in Paul's writ- 
ings, is preserved. 'Ye are saved by faith, not by 
works, lest any man should boast.' The middle 
clause of the verse is therefore parenthetical, and 
refers not to the main idea ye are saved^ but to the 
subordinate one through faith, and is designed to 
show how entirely salvation is of grace, since even 
faith, by which we apprehend the offered mercy, is 
the gift of God. 4. The analogy of Scripture is in 
favor of this view of the passage, in so far that else- 
where faith is represented as the gift of God."^ 

To say .that salvation is of grace, that is, that it is 
the free gift of God, and then directly afterwards to 
say, that salvation is not of ourselves, it is the gift of 
^On Eph. ii. 8. 

Election Stated and Proved, 93 

God, certainly appears redundant. The difficulty 
disappears if we take the apostle's meaning to be 
that faith is the gift of God. But whatever view 
may be taken of that passage, other testimonies so 
expressly affirm faith to be the gift of God that 
Arminian writers admit the fact. John Wesley, who 
in his note on the above mentioned text says, " This 
refers to the whole preceding clause: that ye are 
saved through faith is the gift of God," speaks very 
explicitly in his sermon on the same text, entitled 
Salvation by Faith: "For by grace ye are saved 
through faith; and that not of yourselves. Of your- 
selves Cometh neither your faith nor your salvation. 
It is the gift of God ; the free, undeserved gift, the 
faith through which ye are saved, as well as the 
salvation, which he of his own good pleasure, his 
mere favor, annexes thereto." Charles Wesley, in 
his exquisite hymn beginning, "Father, I stretch my 
hands to thee" makes the sinner thus plead: 

"Author of faith, to thee I lift 
My weary, lonoriu,^ eyes ; 
Oh, let nie now receive that gift, 
My soul without it dies." 

Other writers make the same scriptural and devout 
acknowledgment. Here then the Arminian and the 
Calvinist certainly speak the same dialect. One 
would suppose that logic would constrain both to 
reason thus : If faith is the gift of God, he must be- 
stow it because he purposed to bestow it. As it is a 
fact that he does not grant it to all, but only to some, 
his purpose was an electing purpose. This logic is 
irresistible, and Fletcher seemed to admit its force in 
holding an unconditional election to an "initial sal- 

94 Cah'inisin and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

vation." The same logic, however, enforces the 
holding of an unconditional election to final salva- 
tion. For, if one should lose his initial salvation, 
and should be restored and finally saved, his final 
salvation would be conditional upon that faith which 
is confessedly the gift of God. He could not be saved 
initially or finally without faith, and faith is God's 
free gift. 

In admitting that faith is the gift of God, and that 
faith conditions salvation, the Arminian admits effi- 
cacious grace, and is logically bound to concede un- 
conditional electing grace. But this he denies. He 
is therefore compelled to reconcile his doctrine that 
faith is the gift of God with one of his leading posi- 
tions, namely, that the sinner's unconstrained will 
determines the question of his believing or not believ- 
ing in Christ for salvation. Let us see how Dr. 
Whedon, in his comments upon Eph. ii. 8, attempts 
to effect the difficult reconciliation. "Faith," he 
says, "is indeed empowered in us by the grace under- 
lying our probation ; but that faith freely exercised 
by us, and seen by God, is the underlying condition 
of our election in time ; and foreseen by God, is the 
underlying condition in our eternal election before 
the foundation of the world." ^ 

This then is the explanation. Faith is distin- 
guished as power and exercise of power. God gives 
the power to believe, but the sinner himself must 
actually believe. Faith is a potentiality which may 
or may not be exerted. There is, of course, some 
ground in common here betwixt the Arminian and 

'"■ Dr. James Strong emphasizes the same distinction between the 
power to believe and its exercise. 

Ekction Stated and Proved. 95 

the Calviiiist. The latter no more holds than the 
former that God believes in Christ in order to be 
saved. It is the sinner himself whoso believes. Bnt 
he contends that in bestowing- the principle of faith 
npon the sinner, God also determines him to believe. 
The principle never slumbers as a mere potentiality — 
a simple capacity to believe. Here the difference be- 
tween the parties emerges into view. The Calvinist 
contends that God gives the sinner to believe ; the 
Arminian, that God only gives him the power to be- 
lieve, and that the sinner is free to use or not to use 
that power. In the last analysis, it is his own will 
that must determine the question whether or not he 
will employ the power and actually believe, and so it 
is his own will, as Dr. Raymond, Dr. Whedon and 
Dr. James Strong frankly assert, which determines 
the question of personal salvation. In the case of 
every actual believer in Christ there must come a 
critical, a supreme moment when the power to be- 
lieve is consciously exercised. The Arminian holds 
that at that moment it is not God who by his effica- 
cious q^race determines the sinner to exercise faith, 
but the sinner who by the free, elective power of his 
own will, undetermined by a supernatural influence, 
determines himself to believe. This is clear, for by 
the same free election of his will he may determine 
not to believe. This, together with the doctrine of 
Universal Atonement, is the key-position of the Ar- 
minian system — the Carthage which must be de- 
stroyed, or the system stands. In this discussion, 
therefore, the attack will be made persistently, re- 
peatedly and from every quarter, upon that strong- 
hold. Hence no apology is made for a return again 

96 Calvinism and Evangelical Armiiiianism. 

and again to the consideration of this question. Just 
at this point the argument is urged from the nature 
of faith as a product of divine, supernatural influence. 
The disjunction between faith as a potentiality and 
as an actual enero-v is inadmissible. 

In the first place, it cannot be adjusted to the plain 
teachings of the Scriptures which have been adduced. 
The Lord Jesus says that all whom the Father gave 
him shall come to him — that is, shall believe in him. 
It is not optional with those thus given by the 
Father to the Son to be redeemed whether they will 
or will not exercise the power to believe: the plan of 
salvation, the gfift of the Father, the enq:ao^ements of 
the Son, require the actual exercise of faith. How 
otherwise could the Son declare that not one of those 
given to him should be lost? There is not a feeble 
ewe or a tender lamb that will be missing, when 
upon the list of the Lamb's book of life he renders 
an account of the flock which was committed to him 
to be saved from sin and Satan, death and hell. 
Luke says that as many of the Gentiles at Antioch as 
were ordained to eternal life believed. In regard to 
this passage the doctors differ: each has his own 
remedy and the consultation comes to naught. Ben- 
gel and Wesley take the word "ordained" to refer 
to a present operation of grace through the preached 
gospel. The former says the ordination must be ex- 
plained of "the present operation of grace through 
the gospel."^ The latter says: "St. Luke does not 
say fore-ordained. He is not speaking of what was 
done from eternity, but of what was then done, 
through the preaching of the gospel. He is describ- 
^ Prcsscnteni graticT opcrationcin per evangeliiun. 

Election Stated and Proved. 97 

ing that ordination, and that only, which was at the 
very time of hearing it. Dnring this sermon those 
believed, says the apostle, to whom God then gave 
the power to believe. It is as if he had said, 'They 
believed, whose hearts the Lord opened;' as he ex- 
presses it in a clearly parallel place, speaking of the 
same kind of ordination.'" There are but two re- 
marks which it is necessary to make concerning this 
interpretation : first, that as the inspired historian 
distinctly says the Gentiles mentioned did actually 
believe, the concession that this was effected by the 
operation of grace explodes this distinction between 
the power and the exercise of faith; secondly, that if 
it be admitted that* God operated to determine these 
Gentiles to exercise faith— and that is admitted— he 
must have eternally purposed so to operate; and un- 
conditional election follows. No wonder that the 
metaphysical mind of Dr. Whedon refuses to accept 
this extraordinary testimony of Bengel and Wesley 
to the Calvinistic doctrine. 

The learned divine just mentioned gives an inter- 
pretation which is perfectly consistent with tlie dis- 
tinction between the power to believe and actual 
believing. It is that these Gentiles, Luke meant to 
say, were pre-disposed to eternal life and so de- 
termined themselves to believe. The exposition is so 
remarkable that it will be given entire: "Ordained 
to eternal life — should be rendered, disposed to 
eternal life. It plainly refers to the eager predisposi- 
tion just above mentioned in the heart of many of 
these Gentiles on learning that old prophecy pro- 
claims a Messiah for them. As many as were so in- 

7 ^ Notes in loc. 

98 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

clined to the eternal life now offered committed 
themselves by faith to the blessed Jesus. Rarely has 
a text been so violently wrenched from iis connec- 
tions with the context, and strained beyond its mean- 
ing for a purpose, than has been this clause in support 
of the doctrine of predestination. There is not the 
least plausibility in the notion that Luke in this 
simple history is referring to any eternal purpose pre- 
destinating these men to eternal life. The word here 
rendered ordained usually signifies placed, positioned, 
disposed. It may refer to the material or to the 
mental position. It is a verb in the passive form, a 
form which possesses a reciprocal active meaning ; 
that is, it frequently signifies an cfction performed by 
one's self upon one's self Thus, in Rom. ix. 22, 
*The vessels of wrath fitted to destruction' are care- 
fully aflBrmed, even by predestinarians, to be fitted by 
themselves. Indeed, the very Greek word here 
rendered ordained is frequently used, compounded 
with a preposition, in the New Testament itself, in 
the passive form with a reciprocal meaning. Thus, 
Rom. xiii. i, 'Be subject unto the higher powers' 
is literally, place yourselves under the higher powers. 
So, also, Rom. viii. 7 ; i Cor. xvi. 16 ; Jas. iv. 7, and 
many other texts. The meaning we give is required 
by the antithesis between the Jews in verse 46 and 
these Gentiles. The former were indisposed to 
eternal life, and so believed not ; these were predis- 
posed to eternal life, and so believed. The perma- 
nent faith of the soul was consequent upon the 
predisposition of the heart and the predetermination 
of the will." ^ In regard to this exposition I remark: 
^ Comra. on x\cts, xiii. 48. 

Election Stated and Proved. 99 

First, the learned coinmeiitator does not say any- 
thing in respect to the sonrce of this predisposition. 
If he meant that it was natnral, the position is 
Pelao-ian. If, that it was the prodnct of snpernatnral 
grace, that is, the gift of the power to believe, he 
wonld speak inconsistently with himself, for he says 
that "the permanent faith of the sonl was consequent 
upon the predisposition." A permanent faith must, 
as a state, antecede acts of faith and would be the 
power to believe — predisposing to the exercise of 

Secondly, the predisposition of these heathen to 
receive the gospel and their facile determination to 
believe in Christ would have been an astonishing 
exception to the facts of universal observation. 
There certainly is no parallel to their case in the 
history of modern missions. These heathen of 
Antioch were extremely peculiar. The presumption 
derived from missionary experience is powerfully 
against Dr. Whedon's hypothesis of the marvellous 
readiness of these Gentiles to embrace the Gospel. 
To say that God's grace made the exception would be 
to occupy Calvinistic ground. To suppose a miracu- 
lous influence would amount to the same thing, since 
the miracle would have been one of grace. 

Thirdly, the assertion of the possession by these 
pagans of a self-determining power of the will in a 
state of sin and in relation to spiritual things involv- 
ino; the salvation of the soul, if Dr. Whedon's con- 
struction of his theological system be correct, leaves 
no room to doubt that in this respect that system 
embraces as one of its distinctive characteristics an 
element common to Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians. 

lOO Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianis77i. 

"They all agree," says John Owen, "that it is ab- 
solutely in the power of the will of man to make use 
of it [grace] or not, that is, of the whole effect on 
them, or product in them, of this grace communicated 
in the way described ; for notwithstanding anything 
wrought in us or upon us thereby, the will is still 
left various, flexible and undetermined."^ This fact 
ought to challenge the attention of God's true people 
in the Arminian communions. There is evidently a 
growing tendency to attach more importance than 
Wesley did to the doctrine that the will of the sinner 
determines the question of practical salvation. The 
doctrine is palpably opposed alike to the plain teach- 
ing of the Word of God, and the experience of those 
w^ho know their own natural impotence and the 
power of converting grace. It would seem that such 
evangelical writers as Bengel and Wesley preferred to 
shun the whirlpool of Dr. Whedon's view, even if 
they ran the danger of striking upon the rock of the 

Another interpretation of this passage in Acts is 
that of Meyer. "^ He says that these Gentiles at 
Antioch were not ordained — ordinati^ but destined — 
destinati^ to eternal life ; and that the destination 
was conditioned upon the divine foresight that they 
would become believers — credituros. This interpre- 
tation is open to two objections. First, the distinc- 
tion between an eternal ordination and an eternal 
destination might have been visible to the "optics 
sharp" of the astute German, but not to the eye of 
common sense. It is a trivial distinction. Secondly, 

^ IVorks, vol. iii. p. 308, Goold's Ed., 1852. 
^ Comm. on Acts. 

Election Stated a?td Proved. loi 

if the Gentiles at Antioch were destined by God, in 
conseqnence of his foresight of their faith, to eternal 
life, every one of them was, of conrse, saved. The 
conseqnence refntes the interpretation to the Ar- 
minian, who wonld otherwise have been naturally led 
by the analogy of his system to adopt it. He wonld 
accept the destination to eternal life of all who are 
foreknown to persevere in faith to the end, but not 
of those who are only foreknown to accept by faith 
an initial salvation, and that is all the record war- 
rants us in holding concerning the conscious acts of 
these Gentile believers at Antioch. Meyer is one- 
lialf Arminian, one quarter Calvinist, and the remain- 
ing quarter siii generis : Arminian, in that he holds; 
the foresight of faith to condition the divine purpose 
to save; Calvinist, in that the divine purpose ensures 
the final salvation of those who believe in the first 
instance; and Meyerite, in that he holds that the 
divine purpose destines believers, but does not ordain 
them, to eternal life. But what matter? He is not 
a slave to a dogmatic system ; he is a free exegete ! 
He is at liberty to make one passage of Scripture 
contradict another! Must Scripture be shackled by 
dogmatic theology? Meanwhile ordinary believers 
will think the Bible, like its God, consistent with 
itself It is Arminian throughout or Calvinistic 
throughout. The old question still remains, which? 

These conflicting witnesses damage each other's 
testimony. The plain meaning of the inspired his- 
torian is, that God purposed that these Gentiles 
should actually believe in Christ and that through 
their faith they should be eternally saved. 

Paul, in Philippians, declares that it is given to us 

102 Calvinism and Erano'clical Anninianisiu. 

to believe on Christ. The evasion is nothing worth, 
that he speaks of tliose who are already believers. 
For if the continued exercise of faith be a divine gift, 
so must its first exercise have been. He says, in 
Colossians, that we are risen with Christ through the 
faith which God operates in us. If we be actually 
risen with Christ, we must have actually believed in 
him. The resurrection and the means are both di- 
vinely wrought in us. The apostles prayed to Jesus 
to increase their faith — both the principle and its 
fruit. He alone who could increase both could give 
both. Some believe, says Paul, in i Corinthians, not 
because of any difference in predisposing gifts, not 
because thev are noble and wise and micrhtv or be- 
cause they were anything at all, but because God 
effectually calls them by his Spirit to believe. But 
why particularize? The doctrine explicitly deliv- 
ered, concerning the regeneration by supernatural, 
new-creating, life-giving grace of the spiritually dead, 
makes it plain enough for the blind to see and the 
deaf to hear and the dumb to confess, that faith in 
Christ both in principle and in exercise is the free 
gift of God, according to the eternal purpose of his 
merciful will. 

In the second place, the position that faith is the 
gift of God merely as a power and not as an exercise 
of power is out of harmony with the views of Wesley 
himself. He held that God in giving salvation — as a 
present fact — gives faith. It is an indispensable con- 
dition of the salvation gratuitously bestowed. But if 
we are actually saved by grace, it follows that by 
grace we actually believe. 

In the third place, evangelical faith which, as a 

Election Stated and Proved. 103 

power, is confessed to be a divine gift implies the 
possession of spiritual life— that is, a holy life siiper- 
natnrally imparted. With one who denies this there 
can be on the question before us no debate : he flatly 
denies the Scriptures. But every principle of life, 
whether natural or spiritual, enters into and vitalizes 
every part and faculty of the being in which it in- 
heres. It must by virtue of a spontaneous necessity 
express itself in the will as well as in every other 
faculty. To say that one may have, and continue to 
enjov, natural life and that he might by the election 
of his will refuse to perform the spontaneous functions 
appropriate to it— to breathe, to eat, for example, 
would be to speak unintelligibly. Certain special 
acts he may resolve or decline to do, but the main 
functions he cannot decline to perform. He must in 
some way express the power resident in the principle 
of life. That it is competent to the will to resolve 
not to express it at all is simply out of the question. 
In like manner he who possesses spiritual life must 
give expression to it in some functions appropriate to 
it. It is not within the ability of the will absolutely 
to suppress its manifestation. The supposition is im- 
possible, that the will, as an element of the renewed 
and holy nature, could choose not to express the 
spontaneous tendencies of the spiritual life. That 
life flows into the will and impresses upon it the very 
law of its spontaneity. The will thus spiritually 
vitalized may elect between holy acts, but that it 
should elect not to perform any holy act whatsoever 
— that is inconceivable. A spiritually living will 
must expi-ess by its decisions, in some form, a spiritu- 
ally living nature, a nature consisting of the will 

I04 Calvinism and Evajtgelical Arminianism. 

itself as well as the intellect and the feelings, — ninst, 
I say, not by the compulsion of an external force, but 
by the holy spontaneity resident in itself. The adult, 
who is born again of the Holy Ghost, as certainly 
turns, in obedience to the instincts of his new nature, 
to Jesus Christ for salvation, and actually and con- 
sciously believes in him, as the new-born infant turns, 
in conformity with its natural instincts, to the fount- 
ain of nourishment in its mother's breast. No more 
could he by an act of will refuse to do this and con- 
tinue to live spiritually, than could a man decline to 
eat and maintain his corporeal life. In fine, if the 
supernatural gift of the power to believe in Christ has 
been conferred on one, and he consequently possesses 
a spiritually living principle, he will by a ''happy 
necessity " of spontaneous action choose actually to 
believe in Christ. He cannot, as a renewed man, 
choose not to believe. His will has an elective affin- 
ity for Christ which must express itself by the act of 
faith in him. The element of sin still remaining in 
him may protest and resist, but cannot prevent the 
action of the renewed will. 

It is true that there is a habit or state of faith in 
the Christian man which is distinguishable from the 
special acts or exercises of faith, but that state in- 
volves acquiescence in the plan of salvation and trust 
in Christ ; and it can never be forgotten that such a 
man could not, by a deliberate decision of his will, 
refuse to believe in his Saviour. 

The question of the self-determining action of the 
will in regard to the actual ex.ercise of faith in Christ 
will meet us again in the course of the discussion. 
At present it is sufficient to have established the posi- 

Election Stated and Proved. 105 

tion that faith is a result of election, and therefore 
cannot be a condition of it. 

Thirdly^ A holy disposition and good works are 
not conditions, but results, of election. 

Isa. xxvi. 12: "Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for 
us: for thou hast wrought all our works in us." 

Acts V. 31: "Him hath God exalted with his 
right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give 
repentance to Israel." 

Rom. viii. 29: "Whom he did foreknow, he also 
did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his 

Rom. ix. II. "For the children being not yet 
born, neither having done any good or evil, that the 
purpose of God according to election might stand, 
not of works, but of him that calleth." 

Eph. i. 3, 4: "Blessed be the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all 
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Clirist: ac- 
cording as he hath chosen us in him before the 
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and 
without blame before him in love." 

Eph. ii. 10: "For we are his workmanship, cre- 
ated in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God 
hath before ordained that we should walk in them." 

Phil. ii. 12, 13: "Work out your own salvation 
with fear and trembling. For it is God which 
worketh in you both to will and to do of his good 

2 Thess. ii. 13: "God hath from the beginning 
chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the 
Spirit and belief of the truth." 

2 Tim. i. 9: "Who hath saved us and called us 

io6 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

with an holy calling, not according to our works, 
but according to his own purpose and grace, which 
w^as given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." 

I Pet. i. 2: "Elect according to the foreknowl- 
edge of God the Father, through sanctification of 
the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the 
blood of Jesus Christ." 

The consideration of those passages in this collec- 
tion in which foreknowledge is connected with 
election is reserved until the direct proof-texts cited 
in favor of conditional election shall be examined. 
The other passages are so definite in asserting that 
holy obedience is the fruit and not the condition of 
election that they must be twisted to make them 
teach anything else. Wesley and Whedon, in order 
to escape the force of the testimony in the fifth 
chapter of Acts distinguish between the giving of 
repentance and the giving of forgiveness. Forgive- 
ness is a direct gift, but as man must himself repent 
it is the power to repent which is given. Whedon 
remarks: "Repentance, being a human act, can 
hardly be said strictly and simply to be given, and 
therefore it would seem that it is the privilege or 
power of repentance which is here meant." /NotX 
only the Holy Spirit, but even Meyer is against him J 
here.l He says: "Nor merely the impulse and occa- 
sion given . . . Against this view may be urged the 
appended 'and forgiveness of sins,' which is not 
compatible with that more free understanding of ' to 
give.'" That is to say, the gift of repentance and 
that of forgiveness stand on the same foot. One is 
oiven in the same wav as the other. 

It must not be overlooked that there is a wide and 

Election Stated and Proved. 107 

a narrow sense of the term repentance. In theologi- 
cal usage it has now come to be synonymous with 
penitence — grief for and hatred of sin, and a sincere 
turning from it to God. But in the New Testament 
it is usually employed in a broad, generic sense 
equivalent to conversion, including the new birth, ^ 
faith in Christ and penitence. This is the sense in ^ 
which Peter in his pentecostal sermon used it, when, 
in response to the inquiry, ''Men and brethren, what 
shall we do?" he said, "Repent and be baptized." 
Only in this way can his answer to these inquirers ^^ 
concerning the way of salvation be harmonized with 
the more specific direction of the Lord Jesus under 
similar circumstances: "This is the work of God 
that ye believe on him whom he hath sent;" and of 
Paul and Silas to the convicted jailer at Philippi : 
" Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 
saved." They put faith forward, as the first duty of 
the sinner. Peter could not have meant to put for- 
ward penitence as the first duty ; he must have in- 
tended to say: Be converted — be born again, believe 
in Christ and turn from your sins, with sorrow for 
them, unto God. From this Scriptural point of 
view, repentance must be regarded as given of God — 
as a change operated in the sinner by supernaturally 
communicated grace. And as what God does in 
time, he must have eternally purposed to do, conver- 
sion as embracing faith and penitence cannot be con- 
ceived as both an effect and condition of election. 

The testimony in Eph. i. 4 is indisputable. Ar- 
minians are compelled to evade it. For example, 
Wesley says upon the text : " ' As he hath chosen us' 
— both Jews and Gentiles, whom he foreknew as 

io8 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisin. 

believing in Christ." That is, he chose us because 
he foreknew that we would be holy. But Paul says 
just the opposite : he chose us that we should be 
holy. So clear is the affirmation that holiness is the 
effect of election, that even Meyer and Ellicott both 
acknowledge that the Greek infinitive rendered "that 
we should be" is one of intention — in order that we 
should be holy. Eph. ii. lo is equally incontestable, 
as showing how the divine election accomplishes 
holiness. God, having elected us in order that we 
should be holy, creates us, as his workmanship, anew 
in Christ Jesus, to the end that we should do good 
works. Ellicott insists upon the telic force of the 
last clause. The two passages taken together make 
it as plain as day to the humble inquirer into the mind 
of the Spirit, that holy obedience is the fruit and not 
the condition of election. 

Fourthly^ Perseverance to the end in faith and holy 
obedience is not a condition but a result of election. 

Ps. cxxxviii. 8: "The Lord will perfect that 
which concerneth me ; thy mercy, O Lord, endureth 
forever : forsake not the works of thine own hands." 

Ps. Ixxxix. 19, 20, 28, 30-35 : "Then thou spakest 
in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help 
upon one that is mighty ; I have exalted one chosen 
out of the people. I have found David my servant ; 
with my holy oil have I anointed him . . . My 
mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and my cov- 
enant shall stand fast with him. ... If his children 
forsake my law and walk not in my judgments ; if 
they break my statutes and keep not my command- 
ments ; then will I visit their transgression with the 
rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless 

Election Stated and Proved. 109 

my loving--kindness will I not utterly take from him, 
nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will 
I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of 
my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I 
will not lie unto David." 

Ps. xciv. 18: "When I said, My foot slippeth, thy 
mercy, O Lord, held me up." 

Lsa. xlix. 15 and liv. 8, 10 : "Can a woman forget 
her sucking child, that she should not have compas- 
sion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, 
yet will I not forget thee." "In a little wrath I hid 
my face from thee for a moment ; but with everlasting 
kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord 
thy Redeemer. . . . For the mountains shall depart, 
and the hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not 
depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my 
peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on 

I\Iic. vii. 20: "Thou wilt perform the truth to 
Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast 
sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." 

Matt. XXV. 34: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, 
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the 
foundation of the world." 

Lk. xii. 32: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your 
Father's good pleasure [purpose] to give you the 

John vi. 37-40, 44-47 : '^ All that the Father giveth 
me shall come to me ; and him that cometh to me I 
will in no wise cast out. For I came down from 
heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him 
that sent me. And this is the Father's will which 
hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I 

no Calviiiisni and Evanoclical Arniinianisin. 


should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at 
the last day. And this is the will of him that sent 
me, that every one which seeth the Son, and b^- 
lieveth on him, may have everlasting life: and I wall 
raise him up at the last day." "No man can come 
to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw 
him : and I will raise him up at the last day. . It is 
w^ritten in the prophets, x\nd they shall be all taught 
of God. Every man tlierefore that hath heard, and 
hath learned of the Father, conieth unto me. Not 
that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is 
of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I 
say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlast- 
ing life." 

John X. 11-16, 26-30: "I am the good shepherd: 
the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. For 
he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose 
own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and 
leaveth the sheep, and fleeth : and the wolf catcheth 
them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, 
because he is an hireling, and careth not for the 
sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my 
sheep, and am kuowui of mine. As the Father 
knoweth me, even so know I the Father : and I lay 
down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, 
which are not of this fold : them also I must brino-, 
and they shall hear my voice ; and there shall be one 
fold and one shepherd." "But ye believe not, be- 
cause ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they 
follow me : and I give unto them eternal life ; and 
they shall never perish, neither shall any (man) pluck 
them out of my hand. My Father which gave them 

Election Stated and Proved. iii 

me, is greater tlian all ; and no man [none] is able to 
pi nek them ont of my Father's hand. I and my Fa- 
ther are one." 

John xvii. ii : "Holy Father, keep throngh thine 
•own name those whom thou hast given me." 

Acts ii. 47 : "And the Lord added to the church 
daily such as should be saved [saved ones]." 

Rom. V, 8-IO : "God commendetli his love toward 
us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for 
us. I\Iuch more then, being now justified by his 
blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 
For if, when we w^ere enemies, we were reconciled to 
God by the death of his Son, much more, being 
reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." 

Rom. viii. 38, 39: "For I am persuaded that 
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, 
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall 
be able to separate us from the love of God which is 
in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

I Cor. i. 4, 8 : "I thank my God always on your 
behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by 
Jesus Christ . . . Who shall also confirm you unto 
the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our 
Lord Jesus Christ." 

Eph. ii. 4, 5 : "But God, who is rich in mercy, for 
his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we 
were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with 
Christ. . . . That in the ages to come he might 
shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kind- 
ness toward us through Christ Jesus. " 

Phil. i. 3, 6: "I thank my God upon every re- 
membrance of you . . . being confident of this very 

112 Calvinism and Evang^elical Arminianisni. 


thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you 
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." 

1 Thess. V. 23, 24: "And the very God of peace 
sanctify you wholly ; and I pray God your whole 
spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto 
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he 
that calleth you, who also will do it." 

2 Tim. iv. 18: "And the Lord shall deliver me 
from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his 
heavenly kingdom." 

Heb. xiii. 5: " For he hath said, I will never leave 
thee, nor forsake thee." 

I Pet. i. 3-5: "Blessed be the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abun- 
dant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively 
hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the 
dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, 
and that fadetli not away, reserved in heaven for you, 
who are kept by the power of God through faith unto 
salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 

Jude I, 24, 25: "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, 
and brother of James, to them which are sanctified by 
God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and 
called." "Now unto him that is able to keep you 
from falling, and to present you faultless before the 
presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only 
wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, domin- 
ion and power, both now and forever. Amen." 

Time would fail to enter into a particular analysis 
of these passages. Taken collectively, they furnish 
a great mass of proof that God will preserve his 
people to everlasting life in heaven; and that his 
preservation of them is due to his eternal purpose. 

Elextion Stated and Proved. 113 

It would be enough to establish the point before us 
if they did no more — and they certainly do that — 
than to prove that believers are chosen or elected 
unto salvation. In the Scriptures salvation is some- 
times made to include regeneration, justification, 
adoption, sanctification and glorification: these are 
the parts embraced in it as a whole. Sometimes 
it simply means glorification — the possession of 
heavenly felicity and glory as the consummate result 
and crown of the whole scheme. Take it either way, 
and election to salvation is election to perseverance. 
The operative grace of God as the fruit of election 
determines to the means and the end alike or rather 
to all the parts and to the whole. If, for example, 
it determined to faith as a means to a losable justifi- 
cation, it would not determine to salvation. But he 
that believeth shall be saved. What sort of salvation 
is that which may be lost? How is he saved from 
hell wdio finally sinks into it? He who is justified is 
glorified. The beginning is due to predestination, 
and by it is linked to the end. Every part of sal-- 
vation and the whole of it are referred to God's elect- 
ing purpose. 

The passages which have been quoted abundantly \ 
prove that faith, good works, and perseverance in 
the same to the end are not conditions, but results, 
of election. In eternally predestinating the glorifi- 
cation of his people, God also predestinated the 
means to the accomplishment of that end : means 
which he himself purposed to employ and to deter- 
mine them by his grace to use. 

And to these testimonies is now added an explicit 
assertion of the fact that election is unconditional. 

114 Calvinis7n and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

In Rom. ix. 27 and xi. 5, 6, Paul says: " Esaias also 
crieth concerning Israel, Though tlie number of the 
children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant 
shall be saved." "Even so then at this present 
time also there is a remnant according to the election 
of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of 
works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it 
be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise 
work is no more work." The mass of Israel are not 
saved. Who then are saved? A remnant. How 
are they saved? A.ccording to the election of grace: 
therefore not according to an election conditioned by 
the foreknowledge of their works. It would be vain 
to say that faith is not a work. Good works are 
works, and they are said to be a foreknown condition 
of election. Nor will it do to say that these fore- 
seen good works are not legal and meritorious but 
evangelical and gracious, for they are denied to be 
determined by grace and consequently affirmed to be 
determined by the will of man. They are therefore 
human works; and Paul sweeps away all works of 
every kind from the reason of election. That reason 
is grace, grace alone, the electing grace of God's 
sovereio^n wilk Grace and works are contradictories. 
One or the other must originate election. We must 
choose between them. Paul affirms grace; God for- 
bid that we should affirm works! The impossibility 
of adjusting this powerful passage to the Arminian 
scheme is evinced in Dr. Whedon's exposition of the 
apostle's dilemma: "Grace and works, the apostle 
now affirms, are a contradiction. Our faith is as free 
as our works, and our works as free as our will, that 
will possessing the full power in the given case to 

Election Stated and Prozcd. 115 

choose or refuse. If it be of compensative works, 
then it is no more gratuity or grace, otherwise work 
or compensation is no more compensation or work. 
Each excludes the other." ^ 

The proof-texts which Arniinians adduce in favor 
of the doctrine of conditional election, and against 
unconditional, are of two kinds: direct, and indirect. 
The indirect are: first, those which are cited in favor 
of universal atonement ; secondly, those which are 
adduced in support of the defectibility of the saints; 
and thirdly, those which are alleged to assert the 
possession and exercise of free will by men in regard 
to salvation. 

The following are the chief, if not the only, direct 
proof-texts which claim particular examination: 

Rom. viii. 29, 30: ''Whom he did foreknow, he 
also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of 
his Son, that he might be the first-born among many 
brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, 
them he also called; and wdiom he called, them he 
also justified: and whom he justified, them he also 

1 Pet. i. 2: "Elect according to the foreknowledge 
of God the Father, through sanctification of the 
Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of 
Jesus Christ." 

2 Thess. ii. 13: "But we are bound to give thanks 
alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, 
because God hath from the beginning chosen you to 
salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and 
belief of the truth." 

The argument from these passages is: first, that 

1 Comm. on Rom. 

ii6 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

foreknowledge, that is, prescience, is represented as, 
in the order of thought, preceding predestination or 
election : election is according to foreknowledge ; 
secondly, that election is said to be conditioned upon 
faith, holy obedience and perseverance in the same. 

Let us in the first place hear what lexicographers, 
and commentators who are not Calvinistic, have to 
say upon these texts. The words, in the passages 
from Romans and First Peter, which are of critical 
importance, are "did foreknow" — ^rpof^vw, and "fore- 
knowledge" — -poyvuaiv, botli from the same root. 

Schleusner says: "(4) ut simplex yivuaKu, amo 
aliquem, alicui bene volo. Rom. viii. 29, ov;- Trpoiyvu 
quos Dens ab ?eterno amavit, sen, ad quos pertinent 
benigna ilia voluntas divina (TrpoOeci-) cui homines 
adductionem ad religionem et felicitatem christianam 
debent." He censures Koppius for a different in- 
terpretation, and supports his own by a reference to 
divers passages of Scripture, emphasizing that in the 
same epistle, where Paul says, God hath not cast 
away his people whom he foreknew — Trpoiyvu, and 
where the word cannot be taken in the sense of 
pimple prescience. 

In regard to the noun he says: "(2) per metony- 
miam causae pro effectu: consiliitm^ dccretumy In 
this sense he says that the word 7rpd/vwa^- is twice 
used in the New Testament: Acts, ii. 23 and i Pet., 
i. 2. In the latter passage "according to the fore- 
knowledge of God the Father" means according to 
the most wise and benignant counsel (consilio) of 
God wdiereby they were made Christians (Christianis 

Cremer makes the terms "foreknow" and "fore- 

Election Stated and Proved. 117 

knowledge" equivalent to God's self-determination 
to unite^'himself in fellowship with human beings. 
This self-determination corresponds with election, the 
difference, however, obtaining between them that the 
self-determination which is abstracted from particular 
objects is expressed in election which designates those 
objects. He says: '^^To foreknow' therefore corre- 
sponds with 'to elect before the foundation of the 
world,' which in Eph. i. 4, precedes 'to predestinate,' 
just like 'foreknew' in Rom. viii. 29. ^Foreknowl- 
edge,' however, essentially includes a self-determma- 
tio^^i \o this fellowship on God's part (Rom. viii. 29, 
'with whom God had before entered into fellowship'); 
whereas ' election ' merely expresses a determination 
directed to the objects of the fellowship; cf. i Pet.^ 1. 
2: 'elect according to the foreknowledge of God.' " 
Cremer's view is peculiar, but it rejects the interpre- 
tation which makes foreknowledge in these passages 
equivalent to mere pre-cognition. 

Upon I Pet. i. 2, he remarks: '"Elect according 
to the foreknowledge of God' denotes the foreor- 
dained fellowship between God and the objects of his 
saving counsels; God's self-determination to enter 
into the fellowship with the objects of his^ sovereign 
counsels, preceding the realization thereof." 

In this very chapter in i Peter the word has the 
force of fore-ordination, verse 20: "Who [Christ] 
verilv was foreordained— :^/^of}^'^><^/'^^^'^- before the foun- 
dation of the world;" upon which Glassius in his 
PhilologicF- SacrcE sa)-s: "hoc est, aeterno Dei decreto 
ordinatus in victimam pro peccatis hominum offer- 

I will refrain from citing the opinions of commen- 

ii8 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

tators in regard to Rom. viii. 29, for the reason that 
both Calvinists and Arniinians differ amonq^ them- 
selves as to the precise meaning of the foreknowledge 
mentioned in that verse and its connection with the 
predestination of which the apostle there speaks. 
The views of some, who are not professed Calvinists, 
upon I Pet. i. 2 wull be furnished. 

Dr. Fronmiiller, the expositor of the Epistles of 
Peter in lyange's commentary thus interprets the 
verse: "'According to the foreknowledge of God' 
should be connected with 'elect': it denotes not 
mere prescience and pre- cognition, the object of 
which is indeed not mentioned, but both real dis- 
tinction and fore-decreeing." Dr. Mombert, the 
translator, adds this from Grotius: "Foreknowledge 
here does not signify prescience but antecedent 
decree {anteccdens decreticm), as in Acts ii. 23; the 
same sense as in Eph. i. 4." 

Dr. Huther, the continuator of Meyer's commen- 
taries, remarks upon this verse: ^^TrpdyvcdGir is trans- 
lated generally by the commentators as: predesti- 
nation." [He refers in a note to Lyranus: proedes- 
tinatio; Erasmus: prsefinitio; Gerhard: irpdOeGt- juxta 
quam facta est electio; De Wette: /?ovA^ ant Tvpncopio/jo^,'^ 
"This is no doubt inexact, still it must be observed 
that in the N. T. Tf^joyvuci^ stands always in such a 
connection as to show that it expresses an idea akin 
to that of predestination, but without the idea of 
knowino- or of takino" coonizance beino^ lost. It is 
the perceiving of God by means of which the object is 
determined, as that wdiicli he perceives it to be. Cf. 
]\Ieyer on Rom. viii. 29: 'It is God's being aware in 
his plan, in virtue of which, before the subjects are 

Election Stated and Proved. 119 

destined by him to salvation, he knows who are to be 
so destined by him.' It is incorrect, therefore, to 
understand the word as denoting simply foreknowl- 
edge. [In a note he says: "The word has not this 
sitrnification in the New Testament."] This leads 
to a Pelagianizing interpretation, and is met by 
Angustin's phrase: eligendos facit Dens, non in- 

Rosenmiiller upon the text says: "-p(5>vwcT^c, decre- 
tuni, consilium, ut Actor, ii. 23. Ad christianam igitur 
religionem perductos esse ait, ex decreto et consilio 
Dei Patris." He refers to Carpzov as taking the 
word to be equivalent to Trpo^£<T^- 

Olshausen's opinion can be clearly collected from 
what he says upon Rom. viii. 29: "Here, however, 
there seems to be no difference between rrpoey-vot and 
7rpo6(H<Te, wdiile, too, in Acts, ii. 23; i Pet. i. 2; Rom. 
xi. 2, irpoyvuai- is uscd directly for the divine will." 

These authorities are not referred to as decisive, but 
for the purpose of showing that the proofs of an elec- 
tion conditioned upon foreknowledge, which are de- 
rived from Rom. viii. 29 and i Pet. i. 2, are entirely 
too doubtful to oppose to the mass of direct scriptural 
testimony which has been adduced in favor of uncon- 
ditional election. 

But the appeal to authorities aside, it is perfectly 
evident from the very structure of these texts that 
election is not conditioned upon the divine fore- 
knowledge of faith, holy obedience and perseverance 
in the same. In Rom. viii. 29, those who are fore- 
known are distinctly represented as predestined to he 
conformed to Christ The predestinating decree ef- 
fects that conformity; consequently it cannot be con- 

I20 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisin. 

ditioned upon the conformity as foreknown. Further, 
it is explicitly said that it is God who, in accordance 
with his predestinating purpose, calls, who justifies, 
who glorifies. Does the sinner call, justify and glorify 
himself? Are not these divine acts? Is it not God 
who in executing his eternal purpose thus saves the 

In I Pet. i. 2, the persons addressed are expressly 
said to be elect accordino: to the foreknowledo-e of 
God the Father nnto obedience and sprinkling of the 
blood of Jesus Christ. All holy obedience, involving 
faith and the conscious reception of the benefits which 
flow from the application of Jesus' blood, is ascribed 
to God's electing purpose as its proximate end. It is 
that nnto which the persons designated are elected. 
Nor will it answer to say that election is declared to 
be throngh sanctification of the Spirit. Will it be 
contended that the sinner sanctifies himself in order 
to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ? 
That would be to assert that he sanctified himself in 
order to his sanctification. And if it be still replied 
that he must believe in order to receive the sanctifi- 
cation of the Spirit, it is rejoined that, in the first 
place, it is the sanctifying office of the Spirit to give 
faith as Arminians concede; and, in the second place, 
faith is included in the obedience unto which the 
persons addressed are said to be elect and whic : tlie 
sanctifying power of the Spirit produces. Otherwise 
the statement would be: they believe in order to be 
sanctified in order to believe. No just criticism can 
extract that meaning from the inspired words of the 

On the passage in Peter, Richard Watson makes this 

Election Stated and Proved. I2i 

extraordinary comment : ^ " Here obedience is not the 
end of election, bnt of the sanctification of the Spirit; 
and both are joined with 'the sprinkling of the blood 
of Jesus' (which, in all cases, is apprehended by 
faith,) as the media through which our election is 
effected — 'elect through sanctification of the spirit,' 
&c. These cannot, therefore, be the ends of our per- 
sonal election ; for if we are elected ' through ' that 
sanctification of the Spirit which produces obedience, 
we are not elected, being unsanctified and disobedi- 
ent, in order to be sanctified by the Spirit that we 
may obey : it is the work of the Spirit which produces 
obedient faith, and through both we are 'elected' 
into the Church of God." First, this is, in one re- 
spect, as good Calvinism as could be desired. He 
admits that it is the Spirit who produces faith and 
obedience. This is an admission of efficacious grace. 
For if it be the Spirit ^\\o produces obedient faith, it 
certainly is not the determining will of the sinner 
w'hich produces it. The sinner believes, but the 
grace of the Spirit originates his faith. But as the 
Spirit is God, and whatever God does in time he eter- 
nally purposed to do, his production of faith in the 
sinner was eternally purposed ; or what is the same 
thing the sinner was eternally elected to believe. 
Secondly, Watson argues that since one is elected 
through sanctification of the Spirit involving faith 
and obedience, faith and obedience are means and not 
ends of election. Exactly so; except that sanctifica- 
tion, involving faith and obedience, is not the means 
through which election exists, but through which it 
operates. The Calvinist does not make sanctification 

^Theo. Inst., Vol. ii., p. 348, New York, 1S40. 

122 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 


producing faith and obedience an end of election. 
The end is proximately the final salvation of the sin- 
ner, and ultimately the glory of God's grace. Sanc- 
tification is the elected means to that end. He misses 
the mark, therefore, when he makes Calvinism regard 
obedience as the end of election ; but his lano-uao-e 
otherwise is perfectly Calvinistic, for it asserts that 
the means through which election takes effect are pro- 
duced in the sinner by the grace of -the Spirit, and of 
course were eternally ordained. 

Whatever then be the nature of the foreknowledge 
mentioned in these texts, it cannot be that of faith 
and holiness as conditions of election. That, at least, 
is clear. 

2 Thess. ii. 13, is adduced to prove that election is 
conditioned upon faith and holy obedience. In re- 
gard to this it may be urged : first, this passage puts 
"sanctification" before "belief of the truth." The 
words sanctification of the Spirit are often used to 
signify the wdiole agency of the Spirit in producing 
experimental religion, beginning in regeneration, in- 
cluding the operation of faith, penitence and the dis- 
position to bring forth good works, and ending in 
glorification. If the Spirit exerts this renewing and 
saving influence upon the sinner, it is in consequence 
of God's eternal purpose that he should. Whatever 
God does in time he eternally purposed to do, and, as 
the Spirit is God, whatever the Spirit does in time 
was eternally purposed. The supernatural operation 
of the Holy Spirit and the faith engendered by it con- 
stitute, according to the statement of Paul in this pas- 
sage, the ordained means through which the electing 
purpose of God effects the salvation of the sinner. 

Election Stated and Proved. 123 

If, as is most probable, the salvation to which the 
apostle in this text says God chooses is final felicity and 
glory, that end is not appointed without the appoint- 
ment also of the means to its attainment ; and those 
means are chiefly the operations of the Spirit, renew- 
ing and sanctifying the sinner. To say that the sin- 
ner is himself the originator of his spiritual life and 
its functions, and that he by his repentance and faith 
conditions the work of the Spirit in his soul, is to take 
a position which is both unscriptural and irrational. 

What does the Arminian gain by insisting on the 
words, "///;w/^/^sanctification of the Spirit and belief 
of the truth ?" If he mean that the material cause of 
election is here asserted, he holds that sanctification 
and faith are the cause on account of which, on the 
o-round of which, God elects to salvation. But he re- 
fuses formally to take that view. If he mean that 
sanctification and faith are the instrumental cause of 
election, he contradicts the decisive testimony of 
Scripture that they are not the instrumental cause but 
the effects of election. If he mean that sanctification 
and faith are the instrumental cause of salvation, he 
affirms exactly what the Calvinist maintains. 

Here, however, there is need of an important dis- 
tinction — between the condition of election, and the 
conditions of salvation. Neither the work of Christ 
nor the work of the Spirit is in ajiy sense a cause of 
election, while they are in important senses causes of] 
salvation. Christ was not the efficient or meritorious 
or instrumental cause of election. He was not the 
foundation of ^\^^\\.o\\— fund anient uni electionis ; but 
he is the foundation of redemption-^Y/^^/^7;;/^/////w 
redemptionis. He purchased redemption by his com- 

124 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisut. 

plete obedience to the precept and the penalty of the 
divine law, by which he satisfied justice and brought 
in everlasting righteousness; and by his priestly in- 
tercession he acquires the saving grace of the Holy 
Ghost which as a king he imparts. His work was 
thus an instrumental and meritorious cause of re- 
demption. Nevertheless he was elected to the dis- 
charge of this momentous work by the sovereign will 
of the Father. So, neither was the work of the 
blessed Spirit a cause of election, either efficient or 
instrumental. In effecting the renewal and sancti- 
fication of the sinner he is the proximate efficient 
cause by which the electing purpose — the will of God 
by which the elect are sanctified — is executed, and 
in performing this office his grace is a divinely ap- 
pointed instrumental cause of salvation. The differ- 
ence between the cause of election and the cause of 
salvation is thus made apparent. 

The graces and duties of the renewed soul are in 
no sense efficient or meritorious causes. In what 
sense they are instrumental causes, it is important to 
determine. Faith in Christ as a justif\-ing Saviour 
is the instrumental cause of union \vitli him. That 
is, it is a condition without which actual, in contra- 
distinction to federal, union with him would not take 
place. In this sense, faith is the sole condition of 
salvation. It alone consciously unites the sinner to 
Christ, and Christ is salvation. But in regard to 
final salvation — heavenly felicity and glory — all the 
graces of the Spirit and all the works of the Christian 
man are instrumental causes or conditions without 
which that consummate end would not, by the adult, 
be reached. 

Election Stated and Proved. 125 

Now the point of this exposition of the means of 
salvation is the a fortiori argnnient necessarily dednci- 
ble from it, that if neither the work of Christ nor the 
work of the Holy Spirit is an instrnmental canse or 
condition of election, much less can the faith and 
holy obedience of the sinner be such a cause or condi- 
tion. The conditions of salvation are indispensable^ 
but they are in no sense conditions of election. 

Secondly, the judgment of impartia*l commentators 
is opposed to the Arminian interpretation of this 
verse. Auberlen and Riggenbach, in Lange's series, 
say: ''The iv, etc. cannot belong to u/^aTo, since the 
objective purpose of free grace is not conditioned by 
the subjective process in us." Ellicott observes: "The 
preposition kv may be instrumental (Chrysostom, Liine- 
man, al.) but is perhaps more naturally taken in its 
usual sense as denoting the spiritual state /;z which the 
tOxiro t\7 ou>7T]piav was realized." Webster and Wilkin- 
son remark: " £1^ a}', following e/ A. indicates that their 
present state, character and qualification for future 
blessedness, are the effect of God's choice, involved 
in it, as part of his original purpose of grace toward 
them. So in i Pet. i. i, 2. Even Rosenmiiller says 
in regard to the originating cause of belief of the 
truth: "Deus ad salutem vos perduxit dum emendavit 
vos per doctrinam Christi perfectiorem, et effecit ut 
fideni haberetis religioni." 

Having considered the direct scriptural proofs 
adduced in support of the doctrine of conditional 
election, I might pass on to the examination of the 
indirect and inferential evidence furnished by the 
Arminian positions in regard to the universality of 
the atonement, the defectibility of the saints, and the 

126 Calviiiisni and Evaii'^elical Arrninianism. 

free-will of man in the spiritual sphere. But for 
several reasons I propose not to launch upon that 
wide sea. In the first place, the indirect proofs of 
unconditional election, which may be drawn from 
related doctrines of the Calvinistic system, it is not 
my intention to present, and this justifies the ex- 
clusion of similar proofs on the Arminian side. In 
the second place, anything like an adequate consid- 
eration of that class of proofs would swell this dis- 
cussion bevond the limits which it is desio;ned to 
bear. In the third place, the topics coming within 
the scope of that kind of proof have been for cen- 
turies handled in systems of theology and contro- 
versial treatises, and their treatment here would be, 
in great measure, but a re-statement of familiar 
arguments. They are not peculiar to the Evangeli- 
cal Arminian theology, the prominent features of 
which, as a modification of the Remonstrant, it is the 
chief purpose of this disquisition to examine. 

The elements into which the doctrine of election 
may be analyzed having been established by a direct 
appeal to God's Word, the way is clear to gather them 
lip into a comprehensive and definitive statement : 

Election is God's eternal purpose or decree, — incited 
by his mere mercy towards man considered as fallen 
by his own fault into sin and misery, grounded alone 
in the sovereign pleasure of his own will, uncondi- 
tioned by any qualities, dispositions or acts of the 
creature, and involving a peculiar love of complacency 
towards its objects, — to bring certain individual men 
to everlasting salvation and all the means necessary 
thereto, in order to the glory of his grace. 

I will conclude this part of the discussion by sum- 

Election Stated and Proved, 127 

niing lip the arguments opposed to the Armiiiian 
doctrine, particularly emphasizing tliose relating to 
the conditional nature of election, as the chief point 
at issue between the parties to the controversy. 

1. It is unscriptural in that it fails to make God the 
sole author of election. For while it represents God 
as providing the means by which the sinner may be 
saved, it makes the sinner by his free will determine 
himself to the saving use of those means. It is, there- 
fore, really the sinner who elects God, and not God 
who elects the sinner. His election of God as a Sa- 
viour conditions God's election of him as saved. 

2. It professes to teach the election of individuals to 
salvation, but in reality denies it. For it affirms the 
election only of a condition upon which individuals 
may be saved, if they will to comply with it. That 
condition is faith in Christ and perseverance in holi- 
ness to the end. But individuals are not elected to 
employ this condition : they may or may not employ 
it. To say that if they do tliey are elected to salva- 
tion, is to affirm a hypothethical and contingent elec- 
tion, which is no election at all. It is a contradiction 
in terms. 

3. It is incorrect and inconsistent with itself in 
teaching that election is in time. 

(i.) The Scriptures positively teach that election 
is from eternit}'. 

(2.) Election in time could only be the temporal 
execution of an eternal purpose. A so-called actual 
election must correspond with that purpose and ex- 
press it. 

(3.) God's purpose and his prescience are unwar- 
rantably confounded. God's purpose is held to be 

128 Calvinism and Evano-clical Arniinianisni. 

merely his prescience of an actual election to be 
executed in time, as conditioned upon his prescience 
of man's complying with the terms of salvation. 
But purpose involves will; prescience does not. To 
identify them is to pervert the accepted meaning of 
the terms. This is the more remarkable, because the 
Arminian contends that foreknowledge exerts no 
causal influence upon events. 

(4.) God's actual election in time as the only 
election expressing his will is postponed nntil the 
sinner perseveres in holiness to the end of life. But 
it is contrary alike to Scripture and to reason to 
maintain that God waits upon the acts of men in 
order to decide upon his own acts. Whatever he does 
in time, he must have eternally willed to do. Either 
then God eternally willed to elect individuals, or no 
election is possible. To this the Arminian cannot 
answer, that God did eternally will an actual election 
conditioned upon his foresight of the sinner's perse- 
verance in holiness to the end; for in doing so, he 
would deny his position that an eternal purpose of 
election was nothing more than prescience, not in- 
volvino; will. 

(5.) The doctrine is inconsistent with itself It 
affirms election to be in time. But it also virtually 
affirms that it cannot be in time. For it teaches that 
men ;ire only actually elected when they have perse- 
vered in holiness to the end of life. It is then, only 
when time has ceased that election takes effect. It is 
therefore affirmed that election is in time and is not 
in time ! 

(6.) The objects of this election are dead men. It 
terminates upon men only when the contingencies of 


Election Stated and Proved. 129 

life are passed. But the Bible calls some living men 
elect, and Arminians concede the fact. 

(7.) The affirmation that election is in time is 
equivalent to the affirmation that in time the destiny 
of the elected person is fixed for eternity. Otherwise 
his election means nothing. But it is also affirmed 
that his election is conditioned upon his perseverance 
in holy obedience to the end of time with him. Con- 
sequently, his destiny cannot he fixed in time. The 
destiny of the elect is fixed in time: it is not fixed in 

4. It is out of accord with Scripture in regard to 
the ultimate end of election. It admits that the 
proximate end is salvation; but it is logically bound 
to deny that the ultimate end is solely the praise of 
God's grace. For, the praise is due to grace for the 
provision of the means of salvation, and it is due to 
the elect themselves for the free determination of their 
own walls to employ those means. God does not de- 
termine the sinner to use the means ; the sinner 
determines himself He may be grateful for the pro- 
vision of the means, but gratitude for electing grace 
would have no ground. His faith, good works and 
perseverance bring him to heaven, but they are not 
grounded in or due to election: it is conditioned upon 
them. He could not sincerely praise the grace of 
God for bringing him to heaven: he could only praise 
it for afifording him the means of getting there. 

5. It denies the electing and saving love of God, 
which the scriptures abundantly assert. 

(i.) It confounds the love of benevolence and the 
love of complacency. 

(2.) It fails to distinguish between the mercy of 

130 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

God towards a fallen race considered as out of Christ 
and the peculiar, intense and inalienable love of God 
towards those whom he regards as in Christ. 

(3.) It makes goats the objects of the same love 
with the sheep given by the Father to the Son to be 
by his death redeemed and saved. 

(4.) It makes the love of God secure the salvation 
of none of his children. It only secures for them a 
possible and contingent salvation. It is therefore 
less than the love of earthly parents to their children, 
for they would save their children if they could. To 
say that God cannot save all his children would be 
heresy deepening into blasphemy. 

(5.) It makes the love of God for his people 
changeable. For he cannot cherish the same love 
for them when they cease to be his people by falling 
away from him. 

(6.) It contradicts the assertions of God^s Word — 
that his faithful love to his Son will lead him never 
to suffer any to perish who are bound up in the same 
covenant with that Son, even when they forsake his 
ways and break his statutes, that nothing shall separ- 
ate them from his love, that he will never leave them 
nor forsake them, that, though a mother may forget 
her sucking child, he will never forget them, but save 
them with everlasting mercies. 

6. It makes election superfluous and useless. For 
it denies that election is in order to faith and holiness 
and aflfirms that it is conditioned upon perseverance in 
them to the end — that is, the end of life and the at- 
tainment of heaven. It follows necessarily that 
when the sinner is foreknov/n to get to heaven he is 
elected to get there. Where is the use of such elec- 

Election Stated and Proved. 131 

tioii ? One is obliged to apply to it Occaiirs razor — 
the law of parsimony, that causes are not needlessly 
to be multiplied for a given effect. If, tlirough the 
assistance of grace and the free determinations of his 
own will, a man has persevered in holy obedience to 
the end and has attained to heavenly happiness, why 
should a cause be invoked to ensure the result which 
without it has been secured? It is inconceivable 
that God would elect men to be saved in consequence 
of his foreknowing that they are saved ; or that he 
would have elected to save men who, he foreknew, 
would by the assistance of grace save themselves. 
God does nothing in vain ; but this doctrine represents 
him as doing a vain thing. 

7. It misrepresents the elements of the plan of 

(i.) It confounds the fruits of grace with the 
means of grace. Faith, good works, and persever- 
ance in the same, are fruits of grace — its products, 
not its means or conditions. The means of grace are 
the Word, the Sacraments, and Worship. 

(2.) It unwarrantably limits salvation to heavenly 
felicity, when it treats of God's destination of men; 
confounds glorification — a part of salvation — with 
salvation as a whole. Regeneration, justification, 
adoption, and sanctification the Scriptures declare to 
be as essential as glorification. Election, according 
to Arminianism, is to glorification ; according to 
Scripture, it is to salvation. And yet it urges the 
necessity of experiencing a present salvation. How 
is this inconsistency to be explained upom Arminian 
principles? By distinguishing between an initial and 
losable salvation on the one hand, and a final salva- 

132 Calvijiism and Evangelical Arniinianisin. 

tion on the other. Hence some Arminian theolo- 
gians maintain a two-fold election : one, uncondi- 
tional, to an initial and contingent salvation, another 
to a final. But, 

First, the Scriptures incontestably represent salva- 
tion as a great, undivided whole, beginning in re- 
generation and justification and completed in glori- 
fication. It is utterly unscriptural to split it into two 
parts, one contingent, the other certain; one initial, 
the other final. 

Secondly, the Scriptures clearly represent the 
election of individuals to salvation as one, undivided 
purpose. It is entirely unscriptural to effect this 
schism in God's electing purpose and to make one 
part of it terminate on an initial and amissible salva- 
tion, and another on a final and certain. The choice 
must be made between two alternatives: either no 
electing purpose, or one which is not separable into 
parts conditioned by the fluctuating agency of man. 

Thirdly, a salvation wdiicli may be lost is no salva- 
tion. There is no foundation in Scripture for the 
doctrine of a merely initial and uncertain salvation. 
They represent him who is saved as eternally saved. 
There are two great pillars on which the certain sal- 
vation of the believer rests, pillars which cannot be 
thrown down by sin or Satan, earth or hell.- They 
are the unchangeable purpose of God and the indes- 
tructible life which the justified soul possesses in Christ. 
Whom God purposes to save, he saves forever ; who 
live in Christ forever live. Otherwise God purposes to 
save without saving, and justifies without justifying. 
According to the view under consideration, a man 
may be elected to be temporarily saved who is lost at 

Election Stated and Proved. 133 

last — saved in time, but lost in eternity. And as one 
who is temporarily saved may backslide again and 
again — that is, lose his faith entirely — he may be 
elected to several temporary salvations, and finally 
perish. And further, since such a man may die in 
faith, he must have been elected to several temporary 
salvations and an eternal salvation to boot. Surely 
it is not God's election which is meant, but his own. 
There is little wonder that Evangelical Arminian 
divines differ among themselves, some referring elec- 
tion in part to an initial salvation, and others confin- 
ing it to a final. The real difficulty is, that both 
parties to this family feud reject God's election, which 
like himself is stable, and substitute for it man's 
election of himself, which, like man, is characterized 
by change. 

(3.) It unjustifiably confounds eternal life with 
heavenly life. The Scriptures say that he who hath 
the Son hath eternal life. Life, like salvation, is a 
great whole, beginning in the new birth and justifica- 
tion, developed in sanctification, and consummated in 
glory. Election, according to x'irminianism, is to life 
in heaven ; according to Scripture, it is to life in Christ. 
To live in Christ is to live forever. There is a second 
birth, but the Bible speaks nowhere of a third birth. 
He who is born again is born once for all into God's 
family, a child of the Father, a brother of the Son, 
and an heir of glory — a joint-heir with Christ, not to 
a contingent and perishable inheritance, but to an in- 
heritance incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not 
away, reserved in heaven for those who are kept' by 
the power of God ^ through faitli unto salvation. 

(4.) It denies, what the Scriptures unequivocally 

134 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

assert — the bondage to sin and Satan of the will of 
the unregenerate sinner. For, as will hereafter be 
shown, it affirms the power of the natural will, as 
such, to use imparted grace which is alleged to be 
sufficient but not regenerating. 

(5.) It denies what the Scriptures plainh^ teach — 
the life-giving act of the Holy Spirit in regeneration 
as initiating the sinner's experience of salvation. For 
it makes repentance precede and condition regenera- 
tion, unscripturally regards regeneration as a "work," 
in which the sinner actively co5perates with the Spirit, 
and so is palpably and confessedly Synergistic.^ 

(6.) It makes assurance of salvation a solecism. To 
distinguish between the assurance of salvation and the 
certification by the witness of the Spirit of salvation 
is vain. They mean the same thing. To speak of 
the certification of being saved at present as the same 
with the certification of being saved is, I say, a sole- 
cism ; for it amounts only to a certification of a reprieve 
and furnishes no guarantee against a final doom. 
This is not the doctrine of the Scriptures. They 
represent the assurance of final salvation as attainable. 
"Oh that my words were now written!" exclaimed 
Job, the type and exemplar of a suffering faith, "oh 
that they were printed in a book! That they were 
graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for- 
ever!" The passionate fervor and profound solem- 
nity of the exordium redeem the "words" from every 
rationalistic interpretation which would disembowel 
them of their grand redemptive significance. What 
are the words so magnificently introduced? "For I 
know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall 

' liaymond, Syst. T/ieo!. vol. ii. p. 355. 

Election Staled and Proved. 13.5 

stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though 
after niv skin worms destroy this body, yet in my 
flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, 
and mine eves shall behold, and not another; thou-h 
mv reins be consumed within me." "He shall re- 
deem Israel," chanted the precentor of the Church 
in her songs of praise, "from all his iniquities." 
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt 
revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand 
against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right 
hand shall save me. -^ The Lord will perfect that 
which concerneth me : thy mercy, O Lord, eudureth 
forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." 
"For we know," cried Paul, the battle-scarred vet- 
eran of the Cross, "that if our earthy house of this 
tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of 
God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the 
heavens." " Wherefore"— what? let us live as we 
list, because we are sure of a home in heaven?— 
"wherefore, we labor that whether present or absent 
we may be accepted of him." "Now," argues the 
same glorious apostle, "is our salvation nearer than 
when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is 
at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of dark- 
ness, and let us put on the armor of light." From 
his Roman prison he utters this language of triumph- 
ant confidence: "I am not ashamed: for I know 
whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is 
able to keep that which I have committed to hini 
ao-ainst that day"— the sacred deposit of my dying 
body, and mv undying soul with its eternal weight 
of interests. Believers may know their election: 
"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." 

136 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

And knowing their election, they may know their 
final salvation, for it is that on which their election 
terminates. But the Arminian doctrine teaches that 
Christ's sheep may know him, and he may know 
them and call them by name, and assure them that 
none shall pluck them out of his hand, and yet, at 
the last, he may say to them, ''I never knew you; de- 
part from me." 

8. The last point that will be urged is, that it is 
entirely unscriptural in maintaining that election is 
conditioned upon any qualities, dispositions or acts 
of man.* 

(i.) We have seen from the numerous passages 
collected that the Scriptures expressly teach that 
election is unto faith, good w^orks and perseverance 
in faith and good works to the end — that they are 
the fruits of election. The conclusion is irresistible, 
that they do not condition it. It is true that Watson 
says: "We have no such doctrine in Scripture as the 
election of individuals tinto faith. "^ It has been 
abundantly shown by direct citations, that we have 
such a doctrine in Scripture. The authorities are 
opposed, but God's is the weightier. Watson's mis- 
statement of the Calvinistic doctrine that it makes 
the obedience of faith an end of election, and not 
merelv a means throuoh which it effects final salva- 
tion, has already been corrected; and his failure to 
use I Pet. i. 2 against Calvinism — that is, against 
itself — has been exhibited. 

(2.) The Arminian doctrine involves the capital 
mistake of making the acts of repentance and faith 
in the natural sphere condition election. Men are 

^ Theo. Inst., Vol. ii. p. 347, New York, 1840. 

Election Stated mid Proved. 137 

said by Anninian writers to be partly in a state of 
grace when they receive assisting and co-operating, 
or, as it is otherwise called, prevenient grace, ante- 
cedently to regeneration, and consequently to be able, 
in that state, to perform gracious acts.^ But, with- 
out higgling about words, the real question is, 
wdiether in that condition the man is born again. 
No, they reply; his repentance and faith precede and 
condition regeneration. So say explicitly Pope, 
Ralston and RaNinond, and such was the doctrine of 
Wesley. Now, if a man is not born again of the 
Spirit, he is simply born after the flesh. Whatever 
gracious gifts may be supposed to be conferred upon 
him, he is still in the natural condition in which he 
was born of his mother. He is still in his sins. So 
I understand Wesley to teach. '^ Before, then, he is 
born' again he repents and believes. It follows 
necessarily that by faith he accepts salvation in his 
natural condition, and since faith is held to be the 
initial condition of election, his acts in the natural 
sphere condition election. To say that the Arminian 
theology maintains that before a sinner is born again 
of the Holy Spirit he may do that which renders it 
proper for God to elect him to eternal life may seem 
to some to be a libel. Let us see. 

"He," observes Mr. Wesley in his Sermon on Sal- 
vation by Faith, ''that is by faith born of God sin- 
neth not," etc. In his second Sermon on Faith, 
from Heb. xi. i, he speaks definitely upon the point: 

^Pope, Camp. Chris. Thcol., Vol. ii. p. 390. 

''Sermons on The Righteousness of Faith and The Way to the 

138 CalvinisJii and Evangelical ^bijiiniaiusni. 

"The faith of a servant implies a di\'ine evidence of 
the invisible and eternal world: yea, and an evidence 
of the spiritnal world, so far as it can exist without 
living experience. Whoever has attained this, the 
faith of a servant, ' feareth God and escheweth evil; ' 
or, as it is expressed by St. Peter, 'feareth God and 
w^orketh righteonsness. ' In consequence of which, 
he is in a degree (as the apostle observes) 'accepted 
with him' . . . Nevertheless he should be exhorted, 
not to stop there; not to rest till he attains the 
adoption of sons; till he obeys him out of love, 
which is the privilege of all the children of God. 
Exhort him to press on by all possible means, till he 
passes 'from faith to faith;' from the faith of a ser- 
vant to the faith of a son, from the spirit of bondage 
unto fear to the spirit of childlike love. He will 
then have * Christ revealed in his heart' enabling 
him to testify, ' The life that I now live in the flesh, 
I live by faith in the Son of God; who loved me and 
gave himself for nae:' the proper voice of a child of 
God. He will then be ' born of God. ' ' ' 

]\Ir. Watson says: "Justification, regeneration and 
adoption are not distinct and different titles, but 
constitute one and the same title, tlirough the gift of 
God in Christ, to the heavenly inheritance. They 
are attained, too, by the same faith. We are 'justi- 
fied by faith' and we are the 'children of God by 
faith in Christ Jesus.' 'But as many as received 
him, to them gave he power to become the sons of 
God (which appellation includes reconciliation and 
adoption) even to them that believe on his name, 
which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the 
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,' or in other 

Elcciinn Stated and Proved. 139 

words were regenerated.'" "The regenerate state is 
only entered npon at onr jnstification.'" Mr. Watson 
confonnds adoption with regeneration. Faith con- 
ditions adoption as it does jnstification; bnt it does 
not, cannot, is not in Scripture said to, condition 
regeneration. It is out of the question that one 
could condition his own birth. In the passage in the 
first chapter of John the power to become sons of 
God is t^ovaia not (5,'ra«/r; authority or right to become 
sons, which was conferred on those who having been 
born of God by the powerful operation of the Holy 
Ghost received Christ by faith. The order is: first, 
regeneration ; secondly, faith ; thirdly, adoption. 
Regeneration is in order to faith, and faith in order 
to justification and adoption. To require faith in 
order to regeneration is to require a living function 
from the dead in order to life. 

Dr. Pope is very explicit. He says : "Repentance 
precedes the faith which brings salvation." ' " Faith 
as the instrument of appropriating salvation is a 
divinely-wTOUght belief in the record concerning 
Christ and trust in his person as a personal Saviour: 
these two being one. It must be distinguished, on the 
one hand, from the general exercise of belief fol- 
lowing evidence which is one of the primary elements 
of human nature, and from the grace of faith which 
is one of the fruits of the regenerating Spirit."' 
Here the faith whicli appropriates salvation and is a 
trust in Christ as a personal Saviour is distinguished 

"^Theo. Inst., Vol. ii. p. 267. 

^Co}Npendiuni Chris. Theot., Vol. ii. p. 3^4- 

^Ibid., Vol. ii. p. 376. 

140 Calvinism and Evangelical Arininianism. 

from faith as produced by regeneration. He says 
further: ''The special grace of enlightenment and 
conversion, repentance and faith, it [Arminianism] 
holds to be prevenient only, as resting short of regen- 
eration ; but as flowing into the regenerate life." ^ 

Dr. Ralston is equally explicit. He observes that 
Calvinists indicate "the followino^ order: i. Reoen- 
eration. 2. Faith. 3. Repentance [penitence]. 4. 
Conversion. Arminians think the Scriptures present 
a different order on this subject. They contend that 
so far from repentance and faith being preceded by 
regeneration and flowing from it, they precede, and 
are conditions of regeneration."^ The Calvinistic 
order should not have contained conversion as a dis- 
tinct element. It is generically the new birth, faith, 
and repentance in the narrow sense of penitence and 
turning from sin to God. The Arminian order is no 
doubt accurately given. 

Dr. Raymond is still more explicit. Speaking of 
the sinner who "improves the common grace given to 
all mankind," he says : "If he gives the Spirit free 
course, his heart becomes so far changed from its 
natural love of sin as to sorrow on account of sin, and 
in a degree to hate it ; he is truly penitent ; has initial 
godly sorrow for sin ; his will is emancipated from its 
natural bondage to unbelief, and is so far invigorated 
bv divine o-race as to be able to volitionate a deter- 
mined purpose of amendment and of future obedience; 
nay, more, he actually does volitionate saving faith. 
But all this is not what theologians call regeneration. 
It is antecedent to regeneration, and constitutes the 
state of mind on which regeneration is conditioned. 
^Ibid. vol. ii. p. 390. -Elein. of Divin., p. 347. 

Election Staled and Proved. 141 

Faith, tlie evidence of justification, and regeneration 
are contemporaneous, not separable in consciousness, 
but in the order of thought faith is first, justification 
second, and regeneration third." ^ 

The proofs have thus been furnished that the Ar- 
niinian theology involves the position that men, in 
the natural sphere, before they are regenerated, con- 
dition their election to salvation. For, as one who, 
in the first instance, believes in Christ may persevere 
in believing to the end, it is evident that the condi- 
tioning of election may begin in the natural sphere 
antecedently to the new birth. 

(3.) The Arminian doctrine involves the following 
unscriptural positions in regard to the application of 
redemption: God's purpose was not savingly to apply 
redemption, but to permit men to avail themselves of 
redemption provided; the sinner's will and not God's 
is the determining factor in the great concern of per- 
sonal salvation; the principle upon which salvation is 
applied is not that of grace, but of human willing; 
man is, in this respect, made sovereign and God de- 
pendent; the glory of salvation, as a ivhole^ is divided 
between God and man; and, finally, the logical result 
must be a semi-Pelagian subversion of the Gospel 

First, Arminian theologians do not, so far as I 
know, take the ground that there was no divine pur- 
pose in regard to the application of redemption. But 
if there was some purpose, it must have been either 
efficient or permissive. Arminians deny that it was 
efficient, that is, that it was a purpose efficaciously to 
apply salvation to individuals. Consequently, they 
^Syst. Theo., vol. ii. pp. 348, 349. 

142 Calvinism and Evangelicad Arininianisin. 

maintain that it was permissive. But if so, God sim- 
ply determined to permit men to avail themselves of 
the salvation which he would graciously provide; 
which amounts to this: that he determined to permit 
men to save themselves upon condition of their be- 
lieving; in Christ and persevering in faith and holiness 
to the end. 

Now, I admit with all Calvinists the existence of 
some permissive decrees, but deny that this purpose 
touching the application of redemption falls under 
that denomination. The Arminian commits the 
tremendous blunder of treating the case of Adam in 
innocence, and that of the sinner, as one and the same 
in relation to the divine decrees and to the ability of 
the moral agent. It is true that God decreed to 
permit x\dam to sin, and it is true that Adam had the 
power to stand or to fall ; but it is not true, either 
that God simply decreed to permit his sinful descend- 
ants to be saved, or that they have the power to 
choose holiness. Were the decree simply permissive, 
no sinner would or could be saved. The dead man 
needs something more than permission to live ; he 
needs life. 

The Sublapsarian Calvinist — and he is the typical 
Calvinist — admits that the decree to permit the fall, 
and the foreknowledge of the fall are pre-supposed 
by the decrees of election and reprobation. But it is 
altogether a different thing to say, with the Arminian, 
that the decree to permit men to recover themselves 
from the Fall, and the foreknowledge that they 
would recover themselves from it, conditioned or were 
pre-supposed by the decree to elect them to be saved. 
On the contrary, the Scriptures teach that as men 

Election Slated and Proved. 143 

cannot recover themselves from tlie consequences of 
the Fall, God of his mere mercy elected some of the 
guilty and helpless mass to be recovered and saved, 
and in pursuance of that purpose imparts to its objects 
the grace which alone recovers and saves them. 
Otherwise they must all have perished together. 

Secondly, in rebuttal of this allegation Arminian 
theologians contend that their doctrine is that sinners 
are saved, if saved at all, by grace. The grace by 
which it is professed that men are saved in the first 
instance, that is, are empowered to accept the offer of 
salvation, is, as to the order of time, called prevenient 
grace — grace which operates antecedently to regen- 
eration, at least to "full regeneration." "The mani- 
festation of divine influence," remarks Dr. Pope, 
"which precedes the full regenerate life receives nc 
special name in scripture ; but it is so described as to 
warrant the designation usually given to it of Pre- 
venient Grace." ^ As to its nature and functions it 
is variously denominated assisting, co-operating, 
sufficient, grace. It has been already shown that, 
notwithstanding the communication of this grace, 
the decision which determines the question of prac- 
tical salvation is held to be made by the sinner's will, 
unconstrained by grace ; that this is the view expressly 
maintained by such writers as Raymond, Whedon 
and Strong. But inasmuch as it may be alleged that 
these divines do not represent the views of the early 
teachers of the Evangelical Arminian theology and 
those of the body of Evangelical Arminians, I will 
proceed to show that these able writers have grasped 

^Coinp. Chris. Theol., vol. ii. p. 359. 

144 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

the logic of their system, and have given expres- 
sion to its legitimate conclnsion. 

It will not do to say, that becanse co-operating 
grace is given to all men, those who are saved do not 
recover and save themselves, but are recovered and 
saved by grace. For, either this co-operating grace 
is the controlling and determining element in pro- 
ducing recovery and salvation, or it is not. If it be 
the controlling and determining element, the Armin- 
ian position is relinquished and the Calvinistic con- 
ceded; since, in that case, men are saved by an in- 
vincible influence operating in accordance with an 
electinof decree. If this o^race be not the controllinof 
and determining element, the will of man is that 
element. And then it follows that men recover and 
save themselves by the energy of their own wills. 
But that is alike unscriptural, and contrary to the 
profession of Arminians themselves that men are 
saved by grace. 

If it be said, that, although it be true that the 
final factor which determines the question of recovery 
and salvation is the will of man, yet without the 
assisting grace of God it could not determine the 
question, and therefore men are saved by grace, it is 
answered: that upon this supposition it is admitted 
that the will of man may decline the assistance of 
grace, or may accept it — may co-operate with it or 
may not. That proves that the final determination 
of the case is regarded as being in the power of the 
will, and it comes to this, that in the last resort the 
man saves himself It is his will which gives to the 
assisting and co-operating grace any influence in 
pro "ucing recovery and salvation. 

Election Staled ami Proved. 145 

If it be said, that neither grace nor the will of man is 
the controlling- and determining element, but they are 
coordinate and coequal factors, it would follow: First, 
that as from the nature of the case they are antago- 
nistic to each other, a perfect equipoise would result, 
and no action would be possible. Between grace and 
the will the man would be like the ass of Buridan be- 
tween two equally attractive measures of oats. The 
two forces are antagonistic, for grace tends to the pro- 
duction of holiness, and the will of the natural man to 
the production of sin. The consequence pointed out 
must follow. Secondly, if action could be attained, it 
would of necessity be equally shared by grace and the 
human will; and then the man could be said to be 
saved by neither. He could not be saved by grace; 
he could not be saved by himself. Grace and the 
human will, as they would have an equal share in the 
action which saves, would have an equal share in 
the glory of salvation. And so the saved sinner 
would sing: To God and to myself be the glory of 
my salvation! The absurdity of the consequence 
refutes the supposition. 

If, further, it be said, that the natural will is, 
"without the power to co-operate with the divine in- 
fluence, but the co-operation with grace is of grace,"' 
and in this way it becomes apparent that the sinner is 
saved by grace; it is replied: First, in order to co- 
operation the influences co-operating with each other 
must be distinct, the one from the other, and this 
would necessitate the view that grace of one sort or 
in one aspect co-operates with grace of another sort or 
in another aspect. But grace is one, and to divide it 

^Pope, Comp. Chris. TheoL, vol. ii. p. 80. 

146 Calvinisin and E-jangclical Anjiuiia/iisjJi. 

thus into two distinct parts or aspects is wholly 
unwarrantable. The division is an arbitrary one 
adopted to justify a theory. Secondly, the suppo- 
sition represents grace inside of the will co-oper- 
atinof with o-race outside of it. But if it be admitted 
that in the first instance grace may be an inducement 
to action presented to the will, yet when the will to 
any extent appropriates the inducement, by that ap- 
propriation the inducement passes into the will itself 
and is assimilated into its spontaneity. It ceases to be 
external to the will and becomes internal to it. The 
motive agency of grace then operates within the will 
itself, and co-operation of grace with grace would be 
the co-operation of an inducement absorbed into the 
will with the s^me inducement, considered as still ex- 
traneous to it and unabsorbed. Thirdly, grace co- 
operating with grace, were such a combination of 
influences possible, would, to use a homely compari- 
son, be a team which would surely be able to draw 
the will to action. But no, the will is the driver and 
holds the reins which control the powerful combina- 
tion. Even the co-operation of grace with grace can- 
not determine the course of the will. Notwithstand- 
ing their united influence, that sovereign faculty de- 
termines its own course. Fourthly, it is still the will 
which determines itself to the co-operation, and makes 
the co-operation decisive. This is really what is in- 
tended. It is the will which is the determining factor 
in the co-operation, as is apparent from the position 
that the will may entirely decline to co-operate with 
grace. The conclusion is that, in the last analysis, it 
is not grace but the will which is the saving element. 
To all this it may be rejoined, that there is no 

Election Stated and Proved. i.)/ 

assertion of the anomaly of grace co-operating- with 
grace, bnt only of the fact that the will is incited by 
grace itself to co-operate with grace. The co-opera- 
tion is not of grace with grace, bnt of the will with 
grace. Bnt this does not relieve the difficnlty; for, 
in the first place, it would be admitted that it is the 
natural will, as such, which co-operates with grace; 
and as that will is the deciding factor, it is it which 
determines the question of salvation; and no evan- 
gelical thinker could deliberately and professedly 
take that ground. In the second place, grace incit- 
ing the will to co-operate with grace would be grace 
mediately through the will co-operating wnth grace. 
The Arminian must make his election between two 
alternatives both of which are damaging: either that 
the will, as natural, decides to co-operate with grace 
and so determines the question of salvation, which 
involves heresy; or that grace co-operates with grace, 
which involves absurdity. 

If, finally, it be said, that although the grace is 
not determining, it is sufficient, grace: that is, suffi- 
cient to enable the sinner's wnll to determine the 
question of his recoveny and salvation; it is answered: 

First, sufficient grace would necessarily be regen- 
erating grace. For, grace which would be sufficient 
to enable the spiritually dead sinner — and Evangeli- 
cal Arminians acknowledge him to be by nature 
spiritually dead — to perform a function of spiritual 
life, believing in Christ, for example, must be grace 
which gives life. But grace which gives life is re- 
generating. Now, 

Secondly, regenerating grace is necessarily irresist- 
ible and determining grace. Regenerating grace 

148 Calvinism and Evangelical Aruiinianisni. 

produces the new birth, and no one can resist his own 
birth. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must 
be born again." Regenerating grace produces a re- 
surrection to spiritual life, and no one can resist his 
own resurrection. "If ye then be risen with Christ, 
seek those things which are above." Regenerating 
grace new-creates the soul, and no one can resist his 
own creation. ' ' For w^e are his workmanship,, created 
in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath be- 
•fore ordained that we should walk in them," 

But Arminians contend that grace ma}' be resisted, 
and some Calvinists go too far in conceding the same, 
•i^'hile they hold that it cannot be so resisted as to be 
overcome. They prefer, therefore, to use the terms 
invincible or insnpei^able grace. Both parties are mis- 
taken. Regenerating grace, from the nature of the 
case, cannot be, in any degree, resisted. The dis- 
tinction is lost sight of between the common opera- 
tions of the Spirit, which are illuminating, and his 
regenerating grace. The former are resistible, the 
latter is not. The Spirit may be resisted when he 
instructs the sinner in his duty and moves him to its 
discharge. Nothing is more common. But to talk 
of resisting the creative power of the Spirit is to speak 
without meaning. As well talk of a feather resisting 
a hurricane, or a straw a cataract, or a hillock of sand 
a stormy sea. The sinner may be unwilling before- 
hand that regenerating grace should be exercised 
upon him ; but it is idle to speak of his resisting it 
when it is exercised. What can resist the creative 
power of God? Is it not almighty? Can finite 
power resist infinite, acting infinitely? Now, regen- 
erating grace is creative power. It is, therefore. 

Election Stated a?id Proved. 149 

irresistible. There is no sense or degree in which it 
can be resisted. 

It has thns been shown, that sufficient grace must 
be irresistible and determining grace. To call any 
other kind of grace sufficient for the needs of a sinner 
would imply a contradiction. It would be, as Pascal 
in his criticism of the theology of the Jesuits tersely 
puts it, "a sufficient grace which sufficeth not." 
Again the Arminian position is given up, and the 
Calvinistic established. For, irresistible and deter- 
mining grace could only be received in consequence 
of God's decree to impart it. And since only some 
men receive that grace — for only some are regenera- 
ted — the decree to confer it is proved to be an elect- 
ing decree; that is, a decree by which some were 
elected to be regenerated. Any other doctrine in- 
volves the consequence that men determine them- 
selves to their own new creation, and therefore save 
themselves. But how one can prepare himself for, 
not to speak of determining, his own creation, it 
passes intelligence to apprehend. 

It is plain, in view of what has been said, that the 
real question at issue between Calvinists and Armin- 
ians, in relation to Election, is this: Did God decree 
that he would save some men, and consequently that 
he would give them grace to determine their wills? 
Or, did God decree to permit men with the assistance 
of grace to save themselves, and consequently that he 
would leave it to their own wills finally to determine 
the question of their compliance with the divinely 
fore-ordained condition of salvation? That question 
inevitably resolves itself into this simple one: Is God 
the determining agent in actuallv saving man? Or, 

150 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniiniaiiisni. 

is man the determininor aoent in savino" liinisclf? 
The determining agent, I say; for Arminians hold 
that God provided atonement through Christ, and 
gives to men the assisting and co-operating grace of 
the Holy Spirit; and that, without the atonement of 
Christ and the grace of the Spirit, no man could be 
saved. But it is the specific difference of the Armin- 
ian doctrine, so far as this question of the application 
of salvation is concerned, that, in the last analysis, 
J the will of man must be conceived as the determin- 
ing factor. I have, therefore, fairly stated the ques- 
tion at issue, as to this matter, between Calvinists 
and Arminians. 

But, that being the state of the question, who that 
adores the Infinite God, and knows the guilt, de- 
pravity and dependence of the sinner, can hesitate to 
decide that, whatever may be the speculative diffi- 
culties attending it, the Calvinistic doctrine is that 
which consists with the teachings of Scripture and 
the facts of human experience? 

If God be the determining agent in the application 
of salvation, it follows from the fact that only some 
are actually saved that God elected them to be saved. 
The doctrine of the election of individuals to salva- 
tion is proved. 

And if God be the determining agent in the appli- 
cation of salvation, it follows, from the necessary 
consequence that the will of man is not the determin- 
ing agent, that election is not conditioned upon the 
acts of the human will, and therefore not conditioned 
upon faith and good works and perseverance in them 
to the end. The doctrine of Unconditional Election 
is establisiied. 

Election Stated and Proved. 151 

The conclnsioii of the whole matter is, that the 
salvation of men from sin and misery is to be as- 
cribed not to their own wills co-operating with assist- 
ing grace, but to the sovereign, electing purpose of 
God operating upon their wills by efficacious grace. 
"It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that run- 
neth, but of God that sheweth mercy." 

The Arminian doctrine necessitates a conclusion 
opposite to this — namely, that salvation as practically 
applied is to be, in the last anah'sis, ascribed to the 
will of the sinner, since it is that which determines 
him to comply with the gracious influences of the 
Holy Spirit. The following consequences logically 

In the first place, the principle upon which, in the 
application of redemption, the sinner is saved, is not 
grace, but the energy of the human will. The prin- 
ciple upon which salvation is provided is acknowl- 
edged to be grace, although we shall hereafter see 
that Arminianism even qualifies its announcement of 
that principle; but the ultimate and determining 
principle upon which salvation is applied is, and is by 
some frankly confessed to be, human willing. 

In the second place, in the matter of the application 
of salvation man is made sovereign and God depend- 
ent. God, it is contended, is sovereign in providing 
salvation, but in applying it his will is conditioned 
by the acts of man's will. It is not he who decides 
the question of practical salvation, but man. Hence 
the decision of his will is dependent upon the decision 
of man's sovereign and self-determining will. It is 
no answer to say, that man is dependent on God 
for the grace without which he could not appropriate 



152 Calvmism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

salvation. That may be so, but while he is depend- 
ent on God for the supply of assisting grace, he is not 
dependent on him for the use of it. In that respect 
he is confessedly independent of God. He originates 
action by the self-determining and therefore self- 
dependent power of his own will. 

In the third place, the glory of salvation, as a 
whole, is divided between God and man. As God 
alone provides salvation, all the glory is due to him 
for the provision. But gs man is a co-efficient with 
God in applying salvation, to the extent of his effi- 
ciency he is entitled to the glory of the application. 
As he might accept or reject the atonement, and 
might use or decline to use assisting grace, his ac- 
ceptance of the one and his use of the other are his 
own undetermined acts, and the credit of them is his 
own. He has made a praiseworthy employment of 
his powers and opportunities, and the praise cannot 
justly be denied him. And as it is his natural will, 
undetermined by divine influence, which decides to 
use grace and appropriate salvation, it is his natural 
will which shares the glory with God ! To this it 
may be replied, that repentance is a confession of sin 
and misery and faith of weakness and want, and it 
would be absurd to ascribe glory to a criminal plead- 
ing for pardon and a beggar suing for help. That 
would be true did the grace of God determine the 
sinner to repentance and faith. But, if by the un- 
determined energy of his will, he overcomes the diffi- 
culties opposed by the flesh, the world and the devil, 
and makes the sacrifice of himself to Christ and his 
service, the praise of his conversion is due to him. 
Conversion is a glorious thing. The glory for con- 

Election Stated and Proved. 153 

version is clue somewhere. Either it is due to grace 
or to the sinner's will If it is not effected by grace 
it is not due to it. If, as is contended, it is effected 
by the will, to the will the glory is due. The prayers 
of a pious Arminian deny this ; his theology affirms it. 
In the fourth place, the tendency is inevitable to a 
semi-Pelagian subversion of the gospel scheme. It 
is not intended to bandy opprobrious epithets, but the 
interests of truth require that the logical tendencies of 
a system should be pointed out. From an early period 
in the history of the Christian Church two doctrines, 
in regard to the experience of salvation, have been in 
conflict with each other, and have struggled for the 
mastery with varying fortunes. The one is that 
grace effects salvation ; the other, that free-will effects 
it. Around these two doctrines grew up two con- 
tending systems, which from their leading representa- 
tives were denominated Augustinianism and Pelag- 
gianism. Intermediate between these two, adopting 
some and rejecting some of the elements of each, 
arose another system, which from the fact that it first 
took root at Marseilles was called Massilianism, and 
from the name of its chief exponent has been denom- 
inated Cassianism. In, the course of time it received 
the name of Semi-Pelagianism— a name which suffi- 
ciently intimated the belief that it w^as a modification 
of Pelagianism, rather than of Augustinianism, and 
was justified by the circumstance that it originated 
as a protest against the latter system. Its charac- 
teristic doctrine was the co-efficiency of grace and 
free-will in producing individual salvation. Armin- 
ianism, in its recoil from Calvinism, which is essen- 
tially the same as Augustinianism, was a modification 

154 Calvinism and Evangelical A]-niinianisin. 

of Seiiii-Pelaoianisin as it had been of Pelas^ianism. 
It concurred with Senii-Pelaf2:ianisni in affirmino- the 
doctrines of conditional election, universal atonement 
and the defectibility of the saints. The regulative 
principles of the two systems were therefore precisely 
the same. They were imbued with the same genius and 
spirit. Of -what value, then, were their differences? 
Semi-Pelagianisni maintained the existence of a de- 
gree of free-will, in spiritual matters, in the nature of 
man after the Fall. Arminianism holds that man 
has, antecedently to regeneration, a degree of free- 
will ; that, however, is not an element of nature, but 
a gift of grace in consequence of the atonement of 
Christ. Semi-Pelagianism taught that by virtue of 
his natural free-will man may begin his conversion, 
and that then the aids of grace are furnished to enable 
him to complete it. Arminianism teaches that grace 
operating upon the free-will which it confers stimu- 
lates it to begin conversion and then assists it to 
complete it. There would appear then to be a dif- 
ference between the systems in regard to the begin- 
ning of conversion, one holding that the natural will, 
and the other, that the natural will aided by grace 
begins it. 

But what exactly, according to Evangelical Armin- 
ianism, is the significance of this prevenient grace 
which operates upon the will to induce it to seek 
conversion? The answer to this question will be 
furnished from two w^riters, one in the earliest period 
of the system and the other in the most recent. 
"x\llowing," says John Wesley, "that all the souls 
of men are dead in sin by nature, this excuses none, 
seeinor there is no man that is in a state of mere 

Elcclioji Stated and Proved. 155 

nature: there is no man, unless he has quenched the 
Spirit, that is wholly void of the grace of God. No 
man living is entirely destitute of what is vulgarly 
called 'natural conscience.' But this is not natural: 
it is more properly termed 'preventing grace.' 
Every man has a greater or less measure of this, 
which wai^eth not for the call of man. Every one 
has, sooner or later, good desires, although the 
generality of men stifle them before they can strike 
deep root, or produce any considerable fruit. Every 
one has some measure of that light, some faint glim- 
mering ray which, sooner or later, more or less, en- 
lightens every man that cometh into the world. 
And every one, unless he be one of the small num- 
ber, whose conscience is seared as with a hot iron, 
feels more or less uneasy when he acts contrary to 
the light of his own conscience. So that no man 
sins because he has not grace, but because he does 
not use the grace which he hath."^ "One," ob- 
serves Miner Raymond, "who improves the common 
grace given to all mankind, and the special privileges 
providentially his, is enlightened as to the eyes of his 
understanding, or as to the discriminating power of 
conscience, so as to see his duties and obligations, to 
apprehend his sins and his sinfulness, and to become 
fully persuaded of his need of a divine Saviour and 
his entire dependence upon the grace and mercy of 

What material difference is there between the two 
positions? If, says the Semi-Pelagian, one, comply- 
ing with the light of nature and the warnings of 

^Serm. on Workiug out our own Salvation. 
"" Syst. Thcol., Vol. ii, p. 348. 

156 Calvinlsrii and Evangelical /[nninianisnt. 

conscience, begin the work of conversion, grace will 
assist him. If, says the Evangelical Arniinian, one 
improve prevenient grace, that is, the light of natural 
conscience, further grace will be granted to assist 
him. What is the thing to be improved? The 
light of natural conscience, answers the Semi-Pelag- 
gian; the light of natural conscience which is pre- 
venient grace, replies the Arminian. Is the differ- 
ence more than nominal? What is that which does 
the improving? The natural will, says the Semi- 
Pelagian; the natural will, the Arminian must also 
say. For, it must be either the natural will or the 
will renewed by the Holy Spirit. It cannot be the 
latter, for confessedly, the man is not yet renewed. 
It must, therefore, be the former. But, urges the 
Arminian, the will is assisted by grace. Yes, but as 
the will may decline the assistance, it is the master 
of the situation. For, if it decline, as grace cannot 
decline the assistance of grace, it is the natural will 
which declines it; and so, if it accept the assistance, 
it must be the same will which accepts. But, con- 
tends the Arminian further, the will is enabled by 
grace. Here a demurrer must be put in. He is not 
entitled to use the word enabled. For, as he admits 
that the sinner in his natural condition is spiritually 
dead, enabling grace would be life-giving or regener- 
ating and determining grace; and without now going 
into the question how far that sort of grace is en- 
abling or not, it is enough to say that it is excluded 
by the supposition that the sinner is not yet regener- 
ated. It is evident that the two systems come very 
near together in regard to the condition of the 
aw^akened sinner previously to his regeneration. 

E/c'clion Staled and Proved. 157 

But the crucial test is the doctrine of reo-eneration. 
The Semi-Pelagian system is definitely Synergistic; 
it affirms the co-operation and co-efficiency of grace 
and the human will in the change of conversion in- 
cluding regeneration. It denies that regeneration is 
an instantaneous act of God alone, and maintains that 
conversion culminating in regeneration is the joint 
work of man and God. The later Lutheran system is 
also Synergistic, but to what extent? Luther him- 
self was no Synergist. He went further than Augus- 
tin and further than Calvin in asserting the sole effi- 
ciency of God, as any one will be convinced by glan- 
cing at his Bondage of the Will. But the Lutheran 
doctrine soon went away from the views of the great 
Reformer, and, absorbing gradually those of Melanch- 
thon in his last utterances, became afterwards under 
the influence of such men as Gerhard definitely Syner- 
gistic. Its Synergism, however, is not strictly co- 
operation; it is, on man's part, non-resistance and 
passive consent. If one does not resist the Word and 
the Spirit, God regenerates him. His non-resistance, 
it is true, conditions regeneration, but the will is not 
an active co-efiicient. This allusion is made to the 
Lutheran doctrine in order to get by comparison a 
clear conception of the Arminian. On the one hand, 
the Arminian doctrine is distinguished from the Semi- 
Pelagian in a two-fold way: by denying what thel 
Semi-Pelagian affirms, namely, that man apart from 
grace begins conversion, and by holding that regener-i 
ation, although conditioned by repentance, faith andj 
justification, is accomplished by God himself. It 
agrees with the Semi-Pelagian in making the humai 
w^ill an active co-efficient in conversion before regent 

158 CalrinisDi and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

eration, and the deteriiiiiiing factor in presenting the 
conditions npon which regeneration is effected. It is 
distingnished from the Lntheran doctrine by denying 
that mere non-resistance is the condition of regenera- 
tion, and maintaining that the positive co-operation 
of the will with grace in repentance and faith is that 
^condition. It agrees with the Lutheran in holding 
that a state of the sinner's will, determined by him- 
self, is a condition precedent to the regenerating act. 
The Evangelical Arminian doctrine, therefore, oc- 
cupies a position between the Lutheran and the Semi- 
Pelagian, with a stronger affinity with the latter and 
a greater tendency towards it. This is shown by the 
development of the Evangelical Arminian Theology. 
The Remonstrants declined tow^ards Semi-Pelagianism 
as they receded from Arminins, and so the Evangeli- 
cal Arminians are more and more tending towards it 
as the interval widens between them and Wesley. 

It may be remarked, in passing, that this recession 
of the Evangelical Arminian theology from its first 
position is apparent in connection with other phases 
of doctrine than that immediately under consider- 
ation. Wesley and Watson held that the race suffer 
penally in consequence of Adam's sin. Raymond 
denounces "the abhorrent doctrine of inherited obli- 
gation to punishment." ^ By Wesley and Watson the 
doctrine of total depravity was more strongly and 
unqualifiedly asserted than it is now. Wesley allowed 
the imputation of Christ's righteousness. The denial 
of it was begun by Watson, and it is now emphati- 
cally rejected. But it is in regard to the supreme 
question in hand of the entire dependence of the poor, 
^ Syst. ThcoL, vol. ii. p. 37. 

Election Stated and Pro-Jcd. 159 

guilty, tniserable, undone sinner upon the grace of 
God for conversion that this downward tendency be- 
comes as conspicuous as it is lamentable to every 
lover of gospel truth. The venerable John Wesley 
failed not to affirm this dependence in strong and un- 
mistakable terms. Where will you find an assertion 
by him of the supremacy of the sinner's will in the 
great concern of personal salvation? But now we 
hear it boldly and roundly declared by learned theo- 
logians *'that man determines the question of his sal- 
vation." These omnious words peal on the ear like 
the notes of a fire-bell at the dead of night. They 
mean a sure descent to a lower level of doctrine than 
that of the early Evangelical Arminians. Those men 
were prevented by their deep experience of grace from 
using this language. But alas! they sowed the seed 
which have sprung up and are now bearing the fruits 
of Semi-Pelagianism. Well, it may be asked, what is 
there so bad in that? What if the logical tendencies 
of the system are in the direction of Semi-Pelagian- 
ism? To that question this must be replied: James 
Arminius did not, as Limborch afterwards did, advo- 
cate that theology; John Wesley would have gone to 
the stake before he Vn^ouM have confessed his approval 
of it; it is one for which Jesuits have contended, and 
against which pious Romanists have struggled; it is, 
in some respects, less orthodox than that of Trent; 
such men as Prosper, Hilary and Fulgentius treated 
it as essentially Pelagian, and the ^Magdeburg Cen- 
turiators afterwards did the same; in short, it denies 
the supremacy of the grace of God and reduces it 
into subordination to the human will, and is therefore 
a subversion of tlie gospel scheme. I have sung and 

i6o Calviiiism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

prayed and preached with Evangelical Arminians, 
and have been with them in precious seasons of 
reviving grace; some of them are among my most 
cherished friends, and some I have seen cross the 
Jordan of death whose shoes I would have carried; 
but could I get the ear of my Evangelical Arminian 
brethren, I would ask their attention to those ill- 
boding and alarming words issuing from high places: 
''''Man determines the question of his salvation^ Do 
they express the logical result of their theological 
principles? If they do, is it not time to subject those 
principles to a fresh examination? 

Note. — The reader is referred for a very able, though necessarily 
succinct, discussion of the points in this controversy by the illus- 
trious Southern divine. Dr. R. L. Dabney, in hii Tlieo'.ogy : Lec- 
tures XLVIIL, XLIX., on the Armiuian Theory of Redemption. 
Senis in cccluui redcat. 



The following are the statements of the Westmin- 
ster Confession of Faith, which are either indirectly 
or directly concerned about the doctrine of Reproba- 
tion : 

'^God from all eternity did, by the most wise and 
holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably 
ordain whatsoever comes to pass : yet so as thereby 
neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence 
offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty 
and contingency of second causes taken away, but 
rather established. 

"By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his 
glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto 
everlasting life, and others foreordained unto everlast- 
ing death. 

"These angels and men, thus predestinated and 
foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably de- 
signed ; and their number is so certain and definite, 
that it cannot be either increased or diminished. 

"The rest of mankind [that is, those not elected to 
life] God was pleased, according to the imsearchable 
counsel of his will, whereby he extendeth or with- 
holdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his 
sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to 

II (i6i) 

i62 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniuiianism. 

ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin [N. 
B.], to the praise of his glorious justice. 

"Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and 
decree of God, the first cause, all things co:ne to pass 
immutably and infallibly; yet by the same providence 
he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature 
of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or con- 

"The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and 
infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves 
in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the 
first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and 
that not by a bare permission, but such as hath 
joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, 
and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a 
manifold dispensation to his own holy ends: yet so 
as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the 
creature, and not from God, who, being most holy 
and righteous, neither is, nor can be, the author or 
approver of sin. [N. B.] 

"As for those wicked and ungodly men, whom 
God, as a righteous judge, for former sins, doth blind 
and harden, from them he not only withholdeth his 
grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in 
their understandings, and wrought upon in their 
hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts 
which they had, and exposeth them to such objects 
as their corruption makes occasion for sin ; and 
withal gives them over to their own lusts, the temp- 
tations of the world, and the power of Satan: where- 
by it comes to pass that they harden themselves, 
even under those means which God useth for the 
softening of others. 

Reprobation Stated and Proved. 163 

"Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty 
and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbid- 
den fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according 
to his wise and holy counsel, to permit [TO PER- 
MIT, be it noticed], having purposed to order it to 
his own glory. 

"They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of 
this sin was imputed ... to all their posterity, 
descending from them by ordinary generation. 

"The first covenant made with man was a cove- 
nant of works; wdierein life was promised to Adam, 
and in him to his posterity, upon condition of per- 
fect and personal obedience. 

"Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable 
of life by that covenant, etc. 

"God hath endued the will of man with that 
natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor by any 
absolute necessity of nature determined to good or 

"]\Ian, in his state of innocency, had freedom and 
power to will and to do that which was good and 
well-pleasing to God ; but yet mutably, so that he 
might fall from it.^ 

"All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, 
and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and 
accepted time, effectually to call by his w^ord and 
Spirit out of that state of sin and death, in which 

^ These statements touching the first sin have been quoted, be- 
cause they show the Calvinistic doctrine to be — that man's will at 
first was free, neither constrained by an extrinsic nor an intrinsic 
force to sin; that man had full power to stand; and, therefore, 
that the reprobate were not created to sin and be damned, nor 
necessitated by God to sin. 

164 Calvinisvi and Evangelical Anniniaitism. 

they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus 
Christ, etc. . . . Others, not elected, although 
they may be called by the ministry of the word, and 
may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet 
they never truly come unto Christ and therefore can- 
not be saved. ' ' 

The Westminster Larger Catechism, after stating 
the doctrine of election, says: '* And also, according 
to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel 
of his own will (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth 
favor as he pleaseth) [God] hath passed by, and fore- 
ordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for 
their sin inflicted [N. B.], to the praise of the glory of 
his justice." 

The following statements are extracted from the 
Judgment of the Synod of Dort. 

"Forasmuch as all men have sinned in Adam, and 
are become guilty of the curse, and of eternal death ; 
God had done wrong unto no man, if it had pleased 
him to leave all mankind in sin and under the curse, 
and to condemn them for sin. 

" The cause or fault of this unbelief, as of all other 
sins, is in no wise in God, but in man. But faith in 
Jesus Christ, and salvation through him, is the free 
gift of God. 

"But whereas, in process of time, God bestoweth 
faith on some, and not on others, this proceeds from 
his eternal decree. For, from the beginning of the 
world God knoweth all his works. Acts xv. 18, Eph. 
i. II. According to which decree, he graciously 
softens the hearts of the elect, however otherwise 
hard ; and as for those that are not elect, he in just 
judgment leaveth them to their malice and hardness. 

Reprobation Stated and Proved. 165 

And here especially is discovered unto us the deep, 
and both merciful and just, difference put between 
men, equally lost; that is to say, the decree of election 
and reprobation, revealed in God's Word. Which as 
perverse, impure and wavering men do wrest unto 
their own destruction, so it affords unspeakable com- 
fort to godly and religious souls. 

''Moreover, the holy Scripture herein chiefly man- 
ifests and commends unto us this eternal and free 
grace of our election, in that it further witnesseth, 
that not all men are elected, but some not elected, or 
passed over in God's eternal election: whom doubtless 
God in his most free, most just, unreproachable and 
unchangeable good pleasure hath decreed to leave in 
the common misery (whereinto by their own default 
they precipitated themselves), and not to bestow sav- 
ing faith and the grace of conversion upon them; but 
leaving them in their own ways, and under just 
judgment, at last to condemn and everlastingly punish 
them, not only for their unbelief, but also for their 
other sins, to the manifestation of his justice. And 
this is the decree of reprobation, which in no wise 
makes God the author of sin, (a thing blasphemous 
once to conceive,) but a fearful, unreprovable and 
just judge and revenger." 

The French Confession: "Others he [God] left in 
tliat corruption and damnation, in whom he might 
as well make manifest his justice, by condemning 
them justly in their time, as also declare the riches 
of his mercy in the others. For some are not better 
than others, till such time as the Lord doth make a 
difference, according to that immutable counsel 
which he had decreed in Christ Jesus before the 
creation of the world." 

i66 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisin. 

The Belgic Confession: "We believe that God 
(after that the whole offspring of Adam was cast 
headlong into perdition and destruction through the 
default of the first man) hath declared and showed 
himself to be such an one as he is indeed; namely, 
both merciful and just . . . just, in leaving others in 
that their fall and perdition, whereinto they had 
thrown themselves headlong." 

Fornmla Consensus Helvetica: "In such wise in- 
deed did God determine to illustrate his glory that 
he decreed, first to create man in integrity, then to 
permit his fall, and finally to pity some from among 
the fallen and so to elect them, but to leave the 
others in the corrupt mass, and at length to devote 
them to eternal destruction." 

The Irish Confession (Episcopal): "God, from all 
eternity, did, by his unchangeable counsel, ordain 
whatsoever in time should come to pass: yet so as 
thereby no violence is offered to the wills of the 
reasonable creatures, and neither the liberty nor the 
contingency of the second causes is taken away, but 
established rather. 

"By the same eternal counsel, God hath predesti- 
nated some unto life, and reprobated some unto death: 
of both which there is a certain number, known only 
to God, which can neither be increased nor dimin- 

These statements of the doctrine of reprobation in 
Calvinistic formularies may be digested into the fol- 
lowing definition: 

Reprobation is God's eternal purpose, presupposing 
his foreknowledge of the fall of mankind into sin 
through their own fault, and grounded in the sove- 

Reprobation Stated and Proved, 167 

reign pleasure of his own will, not to elect to salvation 
certain individual men, — that is, to pass them by, and 
to continue them under condemnation for their sins, 
— in order to the glory of his justice. 
The scriptural proofs are as follows: 

1. The testimonies which have been adduced to 
prove the doctrine of election also establish that of 
reprobation; for, if God elected to salvation some of 
mankind, it follows as a necessary inference that he 
did not elect the rest, but purposed to continue them 
under condemnation for their sins. 

2. God did not create men in order that they should 
sin and be damned and so glorify his justice; for he 
is not the author of sin, but man, in the first instance, 
sinned and fell by the free and avoidable decision of 
his own will. 

Gen. i. 26, 27, 31: ''And God said, Let us make 
man in our image, after our likeness ... So God 
created man in his own image, in the image of God 
created he him." "And God saw every thing that 
he had made, and, behold, it was very good." 

Gen. V. i: "In the day that God created man, in 
the likeness of God made he him." 

1 Cor. xi. 7: "For a man indeed not to cover his 
head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of 

2 Cor. iii. 18: "But we all, with open face behold- 
ing as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed 
into the same image from glory to glory." 

Eph. iv. 24: "And that ye put on the new man 
which after God is created in righteousness and true 

Col. iii. 10: "And have put on the new man, which 

1 68 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that 
created him." 

Jas. iii. 9: "Therewith bless we God even the 
Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made 
after the similitude of God." 

Ecc. vii. 29: "Lo, this only have I found, that 
God made man upright; but they have sought out 
many inventions." 

Ps. xcix. 8: "Thou tookest vengeance of their in- 

Acts, xvii. 26: "And hath made of one blood all 
nations of men." 

Rom. i. 20, 21: " For the invisible things of him 
from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being 
understood by the things that are made, even his 
eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without 
excuse; because that when they knew God, they 
glorified him not as God," etc. 

Rom. V. 12, 17, 18, 19: "By one man sin entered 
into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed 
upon all men, for that all have sinned . .By one 
man's offence death reigned by one ... By the of- 
fence of one [or, one offence] judgment came upon 
all men to condemnation ... By one man's diso- 
bedience many were made sinners." 

Gen. iii. 12, 17: "And the man said. The woman 
whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the 
tree, and I did eat . . . And unto Adam he said. 
Because thou hast hearkened unto tlie voice of thy 
wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded 
thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the 
ground for thy sake," etc. 

Jas. i. 13-17: "Let no man say when he is 

Reprobation Stated and Proved. 169 

tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be 
tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 
but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away 
of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath 
conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is 
finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my 
beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect 
gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father 
of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither 
shadow of turning." 

I John ii. 16: "For all that is in the world, the 
lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the 
pride of life, is not of the Father." 

Hos. xiii. 9: "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thy- 

3. Some testimonies to the awful fact of the repro- 
bation of the wicked are subjoined. 

Ex. vii. 3, 4, and ix. 12, 16: "And I will harden 
Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and wonders 
in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken 
unto you." "And the Lord hardened the heart of 
Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the 
Lord had spoken unto Moses. . . . And in very 
deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show 
in thee my power; and that my name may be declared 
in all the earth." 

Dent. xxix. 4: "Yet the Lord hath not given you 
a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, arid ears to hear, 
unto this day." 

Deut. xxxiii. 35: " To me belongeth vengeance and 
recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the 
day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that 
shall come upon them make haste." 

■o Calvin is in and Evano^elical Arniinianism 

Prov. xvi. 4: "The Lord hath made all things for 
himself: yea even the wicked for the day of evil." 

Isa. vi. 9, 10: "And he said, Go and tell this peo- 
ple, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye 
indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this 
people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their 
eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with 
their ears, and understand with their hearts, and con- 
vert, and be healed. ' ' 

Isa. xxix. 10: "For the Lord hath poured out upon 
you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your 

Isa. XXX. 33: "For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, 
for the king it is prepared." 

Isa. Ix. 2: "For, behold, the darkness shall cover 
the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the 
Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be 
seen upon thee." 

Mai. i. 2-5: "I have loved you, saith the Lord. 
Yet ye say, wherein hast thou loved us? Was not 
Bsau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved 
Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and 
his heritao^e waste for the draQ^ons of the wilderness. 
Whereas Edom saith, we are impoverished, but we 
will return and build the desolate places; thus saith 
the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw 
down; and they shall call them. The border of wicked- 
ness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath 
indignation forever. And your eyes shall see, and ye 
shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the bordei 
of Israel." 

Matt. xi. 25, 26: "At that time Jesus answered and 
said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 

Reprobation Stated and Proved. 171 

earth, because thou hast hid these tliiugs from the 
wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 
Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." 

Matt. xiii. 13, 14: "Therefore speak I to them in 
parables; because they seeing see not; and hearing 
they hear not, neither do they understand. And in 
them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith. 
By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; 
and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive." 

Mark iv. 11, 12 : "And he said unto them, Unto 
you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom 
of God : but unto them that are without, all these 
things are done in parables : that seeing they may 
see, and not perceive ; and hearing they may hear, 
and not understand ; lest at any time they should be 
converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." 

Lk. iv. 25-28: "But I tell you of a truth, many 
widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the 
heaven was shut up three years and six months, when 
great famine was throughout all the land ; but unto 
none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a 
city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And 
many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the 
prophet, and none of them was cleansed, saving 
Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, 
when they heard these things, were filled with wrath." 

John X. 26: " But ye believe not, because ye are not 
of my sheep, as I said unto you." 

John xii. 37-40: "But though he had done so many 
miracles before them, yet they believed not on him : 
that the saying of Esaias the prophet miglit be ful- 
filled, which he spake. Lord, wli^o hath believed our 
report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been 

172 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

revealed ? Therefore they coilld not believe, because 
that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes and 
hardened their heart; that they should not see with 
their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be 
converted, and I should heal them." 

John xvii. 9: "I pray not for the world, but foi 
them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." 

Acts xxviii. 25, 26: ''And when they agreed not 
among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had 
spoken one word. Well spake the Holy Ghost by 
Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto 
this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall 
not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not per- 
ceive, etc." 

Rom. ix. 13: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have 
I hated." 

Rom. ix. 17, 18, 21, 22: "For the Scripture saith 
unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I 
raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, 
and that my name might be declared throughout all 
the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he 
will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth . . . 
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same 
lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another 
unto dishonor? what, if God, willing to shew his 
wrath, and to make his power known, endured with 
much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to 

Rom. xi. 7-10: "What then? Israel hath not ob- 
tained that which he seeketh for; but the election 
hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (according 
as it is written, Go4 hath given them the spirit of 
slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that 

Reprobation Stated and Proved. 173 

they should not hear;) unto this day. And David 
saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and 
a stumbling-block, and a recompence unto them: let 
their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and 
bow down their back alway. " 

2 Tim. ii. 17-20 : '' And their word will eat as doth 
a canker: of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus; who 
concerning the truth have erred, saying that the res- 
urrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of 
some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth 
sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that 
are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name 
of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house 
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but 
also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and 
some to dishonor." 

I Thess. V. 9 : " For God hath not appointed us to 
wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus 
Christ." The necessary implication is, that God has 
appointed some to wrath. 

1 Pet. ii. 8: ''And a stone of stumbling, and a 
rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the 
word, being disobedient : whereunto also they were 

2 Pet. ii. 3 : " And through covetousness shall they 
with feigned words make merchandise of you : whose 
judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their 
damnation slumbereth not." 

Jude, 4: "For there are certain men crept in un- 
awares, who were before of old ordained to this con- 
demnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our 
God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord 
God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." 

174 Calvinism, and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

Such are the proofs of the doctrine of reprobation 
which are derived from the Word of God, and they 
are too solid to be shaken by appeals to hnman senti- 
ment, or even to human reason. It is admitted that 
the chief weight of the argument consists in the 
scriptural evidence in favor of unconditional election. 
That being proved, reprobation cannot be denied. 
The two doctrines stand or fall together. They are 
opposite sides of the same truth — two hemispheres of 
the same globe, one bright with the light of the 
divine love and of the beauty of holiness, the other 
dark with the judicial frown of God and the dreadful 
deformity of sin. But while this is true, the addi- 
tional evidence furnished by the direct testimony of 
the Scriptures which have been cited is also conclu- 
sive. Some of the passages quoted have, of course, 
been strenuously contested. The most prominent are 
I Pet. ii. 8, and Jude, 4. But it must be conceded 
that the word in the former passage translated "ap- 
pointed " {krkQrjaav) has in it the force of purpose ; and 
while the same thing is not as apparently true of the 
word in the latter passage rendered " before ordained " 
(Trpoyeypafxfievoi)^ yet the Same scusc is Substantially con- 
veyed. For, if that disputed word be literally trans- 
lated "before written," it would have to be confessed 
that the written assignment beforehand of these un- 
godly men to condemnation was but a revelation of 
God's judicial purpose. It will not do to say that 
only God's foreknowledge of the doom of these wicked 
men was expressed, for the obvious reason that no 
man can be doomed, except God dooms him, and that 
necessarily involves an eternal purpose ; unless the 
preposterous ground could be maintained that God's 

Rcprobdluni Slalcd and Proiwi. 

I .■) 

purpose to condemn, like li'is actual sentence of con- 
demnation, has no existence nntil the crime meritin<^ 
condemnation shall have been committed. Further, 
to represent the Calvinist as holding that God dooms 
men to sin, as well as to condemnation for their sin, 
and in order to that condemnation, is to misrepresent 

It is not deemed necessary to develop at large the 
proofs of the doctrine, particularly as it will fall to 
be considered in connection with the objections which 
will hereafter be examined. A few words are added, 
expounding the nature of the doctrine and guarding 
it against misconception. 

The Calvinistic doctrine is not that God decreed to 
make men sinners. "Our Standards," says Dr. 
Thornwell, the late able Professor of Systematic The- 
ology in one of the Seminaries of the Southern Pres- 
byterian Church, "afford no sort of shelter to the 
Hopkinsian error, that the decree of reprobation con- 
sists in God's determining to fit a certain number of 
mankind for eternal damnation, and that the divine 
agency is as positively employed in men's bad voli- 
tions and actions as in their good."' God in eternity 
conceived the human race as fallen into sin by its own 
free and avoidable self-decision. So conceiving it, he 
decreed judicially to condemn the whole race for its 
sin. We have seen that the teaching of Scripture is, 
that out of his mere mercy, and according to the good 
pleasure of his sovereign will, he decreed to save some 
of the fallen and sinful mass w^ho were thus contem- 
plated as justly condemned. That is Election. The 
rest, consequently, were not elected to be saved, but 

^ Coll. Writings, vol. ii. p. 143. 

176 CalvinisiJi and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

were passed by and ordained to continue under just 
condemnation. That is Reprobation. There are two 
elements which it involves : first, a sovereign act of 
God, by which they were in his purpose passed by 
and left in the condition in which they were regarded 
as placing themselves. That is called Preterition. 
Secondly, there is a judicial act of God, by which 
they were in his purpose ordained to continue under 
the sentence of the broken law and to suffer punish- 
ment for their sin. That is called Condemnation. 
Principal William Cunningham, the late distinguished 
Professor of Historical Theology in the PVee Church 
of Scotland, who, as a Comparative Theologian of 
the first eminence, ought to have known what he was 
talking about, thus clearly explains the doctrine : 
*'In stating and discussing the question with respect 
to reprobation, Calvinists are careful to distinguish 
between the two different acts formerly referred to, 
decreed or resolved upon by God from eternity, and 
executed by him in time, — the one negative and the 
other positive, — the one sovereign and the other ju- 
dicial. The first, which they call non-election, prete- 
rition, or passing by, is simply decreeing to leave — 
and, in consequence, leaving — men in their natural 
state of sin : to withhold from them, or to abstain 
from conferring upon them, those special, supernat- 
ural, gracious influences, which are necessary to en- 
able them to repent and believe ; so that the result is, 
that they continue in their sin, with the guilt of their 
transgression upon their head. The second — the posi- 
tive, judicial — act is more properly that which is 
called, in our Confession, 'fore-ordaining to everlast- 
ing death,' and 'ordaining those who have been 

Reprobation Stated ajid Proved. 177 

passed by to dishonor and wrath for their sin.' God 
ordains none to wrath or pnnishment, except on ac- 
count of their sin, and makes no decree to subject 
them to punishment which is not founded on, and has 
reference to, their sin, as a thing certain and contem- 
plated. But the first, or negative, act of pretention, 
or passing by, is not founded upon their sin, and per- 
severance in it, as foreseen."^ 

This is the decreium horribile — an expression of 
Calvin concerning which endless changes have been 
rung. It is a decree, not horrible in the sense of 
being too bad to be believed, but of being terrible to 
the wicked and awful even to the pious. It is indeed 
suited to appal the stoutest heart and blanch the 
boldest face. It reveals more strongly than anything 
else, except the Cross on which Jesus bled and died, 
God's infinite abhorrence of Sin— the opposite of his 
nature, the menace of his government, the dynamite 
of the universe. And it is enough to fill us with hor- 
ror of sin to know, that even infinite mercy has res- 
cued not one of the fallen angels from their doom, 
and only some of our guilty and ruined race from the 
everlasting damnation which is its due. 

^ Hist. Theology, vol. ii. pp. 429. 430- 




I NOW proceed to consider the objections which are 
urged against the Calvinistic doctrines of election and 
reprobation. They are mainly derived from two 
sources — the moral attributes of God, and the moral 
agency of man. Before these objections are specially 
examined a few things must be premised. 

First, the question of the divine decrees in relation 
to the everlasting destinies of men is one which, as it 
is raised by God's supernatural revelation of his wall 
in his Word, must be settled by its authority. Reason 
in its original integrity — right reason, which was a 
part of God's -first revelation of himself to man — was 
entitled to speak concerning the general plan of the 
divine government, and to deduce inferences from it 
in regard to God's eternal purposes as thus manifested. 
But sin has occurred; and the question of a possible 
recovery from its retributive results reason could have 
no means of determining. Upon that question only 
a new and supernatural revelation could throw any 
trustworthy light. This would have been true had 
reason itself retained its original purity. But it has 


Preliminary Remarks. 179 

not. The faculty which presumes to sit in judgment 
upon the awful problem of sin, and its relation to the 
divine government, has itself been seriously affected 
by the moral revolution which has taken place. It is 
therefore doubly incompetent to assume the functions 
of a judge. 

True, reason circumstanced as it now is, has a 
legitimate office to discharge in judging of the claims 
of a revelation professing to come from God. But 
that preliminary office having been performed, and 
the conclusion having been reached, that the Bible is 
a revelation from God, the duty of reason is to submit 
to the divine authority involved in that expression of 
his will. Hence one great Protestant canon is, that 
the Bible is the only complete and ultimate rule of 
faith and practice. It alone, in spirit^ial matters, 
infallibly teaches us what we are to believe, and what 
we are to do. 

But, as this supreme rule has to be interpreted, 
another great canon, co-ordinate with the first, is that 
the Holy Spirit, speaking in the Scriptures, is the 
supreme Judge of controversies in religion. The 
supreme rule is the Scriptures; the Supreme Judge of 
the meaning of the rule is the Holy Ghost speaking 
in the Scriptures — this is the watchword of Protest- 

Now, in the controversy between Calvinists and 
Arminians touching the decrees of God in relation to 
the destinies of men, both parties admit the canons 
which have been noticed. It is clear, then, that both 
parties to the issue are under obligation not to judge 
the infallible Scriptures by f^illible reason — not to 
subordinate the supreme rule to a lower, and the su- 

i8o Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism, 


preme Judge to an inferior. Appeals are competent 
from the court of reason; but the court of last resort, 
from which no appeal can lie, is the Scriptures illu- 
minated and interpreted by the Holy Ghost. This 
is, on both sides, acknowledged. 

The argument, then, is one founded on Scripture, 
and it may be fairly claimed that the doctrines of 
election and reprobation have, in the conduct of this 
discussion, been made to rest upon scriptural proofs. 
If so, no merely rational objections can be validly 
urged against them. 
I Secondly, the fact deserves to be noted that, in the 
I prosecution of this controversy, the arguments of 
j Arminian writers have been chiefly grounded in ra- 
^ tional considerations, and not in the direct testimonies 
of Scripture. When the Calvinist shows from the 
express declarations of the divine Word that God 
from eternity elected some of the human race to sal- 
vation, the Arminian is unable to adduce such posi- 
tive statements to prove that he did not. His argu- 
ments are drawn, in -the main, from general princi- 
ples announced in the Scriptures, and from what are 
supposed to be fundamental intuitions of the human 
mind. Now it is evident that this sort of reasoning, 
in relation to doctrines of a purely supernatural char- 
acter, cannot be of equal value with direct appeals to 
the explicit deliverances of Scripture. Ignorance 
and an evil heart of unbelief are prolific sources of 
error in regard to the mysterious truths of a supernat- 
ural revelation. 

In the first place, we are ignorant of God's nature 
as it is in itself, and of the vast and comprehensive 
scheme of his moral Liovernment as a whole. The 

Preliminary Remarks. i8i 

analogy of our own nature, and the limited observa- 
tion to which we can attain of the procedures of di- 
vine providence, are utterly insufficient guides to the 
understanding of such supernatural truths as the 
election and condemnation of human beings. 

In the second place, our ignorance is often mani- 
fested in wrong inferences from admitted principles. 
It is obvious that the danger arising from this source 
is much greater when we deduce our inferences from 
o-eneral statements, than when we draw them from 
definite declarations made in the professed delivery or 
elucidation of particular truths. 

In the third place, an evil heart of unbelief inclines 
us to refuse submission to God's authority, and to re- 
ject doctrines which are plainly revealed. Of this 
danger the teachers of religion in our Saviour's day 
furnished eminent examples. We tend to accept tra- 
dition, precedents, wi'despread opinions and the ap- 
parently instinctive judgments of reason, rather than 
the authoritative statements which miraculous cre- 
dentials prove to come directly from God himself. 
The docile and trusting temper of little children be- 
comes us in dealing with the oracles of God. 

In the fourth place, under the operation of the same 
causes men are prone to assert for the natural reason 
the prerogative of final judgment upon the contents 
of supernatural revelation. They appeal to the in- 
tuitive judgments of their souls as a higher law — 
superior to the Bible itself. The danger of mistake 
just here is great and imminent. The Bible does not 
contradict any true intuition, intellectual or moral, of 
our being. It must harmonize with our fundamental 
laws of belief and our fundamental laws of rectitude, 

1 82 Calvinism and Eva?t^elical Arminianisni 

for its Author is theirs. When a conflict seems to 
emerge between it and them, we may be sure that 
we have mistaken false laws for true, embraced a 
cloud for a divinity. There is peril of grievous blun- 
dering when we bring the Bible to the bar of our 

Thirdly, Arminian writers are in the habit of dwell- 
ing at much greater length upon the difficulties of 
reprobation than upon those of election. Reproba- 
tion, they argue, is but an inference from election, 
and in disproving the consequence they claim to dis- 
prove that from which it is derived. This was the 
course pursued by the Remonstrant divines at the 
Synod of Dort, and when the Synod objected to it as 
illegitimate they complained of the decision as a 
grievance. This is certainly unfair. The doctrine 
of election is much more definitely, fully and clearly 
delivered in Scripture than that of reprobation, and 
therefore it should be made the first and principal 
topic of discussion. The Arminians, moreover, over- 
look the fact that Calvinists do not hold reprobation 
to be merely an inference from election. They main- 
tain that it is also supported by independent testi- 
monies of Scripture. It is necessary to a thorough- 
going apprehension of the state of the controversy 
that attention be called to this method of procedure 
on the part of Anti-Calvinists. 

Fourthly, it merits notice, in view of the fact that 

1 ^Anti-Calvinists conduct their argument mainly by 
('urging objections to the Calvinistic position, that 
"mere objections constitute at best but a negative 
testimony which cannot destroy positive evidence." 
The same course of argumentation would, if success- 

Preliiniiiary Remarks. 183 

fill, upset our belief ill some of the grandest and most 
essential articles of the Christian scheme. If positive 
evidence of Scripture is to be sacrificed to objections 
and difficulties raised by the natural reason or tlie 
natural feelings, nothing would be left to us but the 
dry bones of Natural Religion, and even them the 
Atheist would not allow to rest in peace. 

It is not intended to affirm that Arminians offer no 
testimony upon this subject, which is professedly 
drawn from Scripture. But the direct proofs, as has 
already been shown, are, as proofs, insignificant both 
in weight and in number; being so debatable in char- 
acter as to be actually adduced on the Calvinistic side, 
and opposed, as they are, by an overwhelming mass 
of direct proofs in favor of the doctrines in question. 
The quantity of direct and positive evidence is cer- 
tainly against the Arminian. He furnishes, it is true, 
abundance of indirect proof, derived by way of infer- 
ence from doctrines conceived to be inconsistent with 
those of election and reprobation. In view of this 
seeming conflict of doctrines, pains have been taken 
in the previous part of this discussion to exhibit the 
direct and positive proofs afforded by the Scriptures of 
the doctrines of election and reprobation. If the 
Arminian were able to collect an equal body of such 
proofs in favor of the doctrines that God efficiently 
wills the salvation of every individual man, and of the 
doctrine that he gave his Son to die that every indi- 
vidual man should be saved, the result would certainly 
be that the Bible would contradict itself, and conse- 
quently there need be no further question in regard to 
what it teaches. But if the direct proofs of the 
Arminian amount to no more than the establishment 

184 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

of the doctrines that God, iji some sense^ wills the sal- 
vation of all men, and that, in some sense^ he gave his 
Son to die for all men, no contradiction emerges; and 
the sense, in which the statements that God wills the 
salvation of all men and that he gave his Son to die 
for all men are to be taken, must be adjusted to doc- 
trines which are positively and unequivocally asserted 
in the divine Word. Doubtful statements must be 
squared with unambiguous. They must dress by the 

Fifthly, it is unwarrantable for us, limited as are 
i our faculties, and sinful as are our natures, to specu- 
1 late as to what God ought to do or must do in con- 
I sistency with his character. It becomes us rather to 
hear with reverence what, in his Word, he says he 
has done or will do. Impressed by the necessity of 
the direct and positive testimony of Scripture, which 
is lacking in the usual argument from the character 
of God against the Calvinistic doctrine, some dis- 
tinguished Anti-Calvinistic writers, such as Bishop 
Copleston and Archbishop Whately, virtually aban- 
doned that line of proof. 

Having cited attention to these considerations 
which lie at the very threshold of the question before 
us, I pass to the examination of special objections to 
the Calvinistic doctrines of election and reprobation ; 
and the first class we encounter is derived from the 
Moral Attributes of God. 


It is objected that these doctrines are inconsistent 
with the justice of God. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 185 

It is important to observe that this objection de- 
rived from the divine jnstice is not mainly directed 
against the decree to elect some of the human race to 
salvation. How could it? What has justice to do 
with election, which is confessedly the result of grace? 
It is true that the Calvinistic doctrine of election is 
charged with imputing partiality to God in distin- 
o-uishincr between the members of the race, so as to 
save some and leave others to perish. But the objec- 
tion is chiefly leveled against the decree to reprobate 
some of the human race. It is especially this decree 
which is declared to be in conflict with justice. Now 
let us recall the statement of the Calvinistic doctrine 
of reprobation. It is that God decreed sovereignly to 
pass by — that is, not to elect to salvation — some of 
the guilty and condemned mass of mankind, and ju- 
dicially to continue them under the condemnation 
which, by their sin, they were conceived in the divine 
mind as havinsf deserved. That is the Calvinistic 
doctrine. Is it against this doctrine that the objec- 
jection from justice is urged? It is not. What, then, 
is the doctrine, as stated by Arminian writers, against 
which the objection is pressed? Let us hear one of 
them who at the present day holds the position of a 
representative theologian. He says: 

'*By unconditional election divines of this class 
LCalvinists] understand an election of persons to eter- 
nal life without respect to their faith or obedience, 
those qualities in them being supposed necessarily to 
follow as consequences of their election; by uncondi- 
tional reprobation, the counterpart of the former doc- 
trine, is meant a non-election or rejection of certain 
persons from eternal salvation; unbelief and disobe- 

i86 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism, 

dience following this rejection as necessary conse- 
qnences. " ^ 

Let these statements be compared. The Calvinist 
says, God finds men already disobedient and con- 
demned, and leaves some of them in the condition of 
disobedience and condemnation to which by their own 
avoidable act they had reduced themselves. The Ar- 
minian represents the Calvinist as saying, God decrees 
to reject some of mankind from eternal salvation, and 
their disobedience follows as a necessary consequence. 
That is to say, if the language mean an\'thing, God's 
decree of reprobation causes the disobedience of some 
men, and then dooms them to eternal punishment for 
that disobedience. But who would deny that to be 
unjust? That is not what the Calvinistic doctrine 
teaches. No section of the Calvinistic body teaches 
it. The Calvinistic Symbols do not. The Sublapsa- 
rian theologians do not; and they constitute the vast 
majority of Calvinists. The Symbols and these the- 
ologians alike hold that man was created upright, in 
the image of God, endowed with ample ability to re- 
frain from sinning, and that, therefore, he fell by his 
own free self-decision. Even the Supralapsarian theo- 
logians do not unqualifiedly teach the doctrine here 
imputed to Calvinists. To a man, they contend that 
God decreed to reprobate some of mankind " for their 
sin." But should it be said that they, in taking this 
position, are chargeable with inconsistency, it must 
be remembered that the body of Calvinists, being 
Sublapsarian, are not liable to the same charge. It 
is not, therefore, the Calvinistic doctrine of reproba- 

* Watsou, Theo. Inst., Vol. ii. p. 326. See also Wesley, Sermon 
on Predestination. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 

tion whicli is liable to the criticism of being in 
gruous with the justice of God, but one which Calvin- ^^ 
ists would unite with Arminians in condemning. The 
arrow misses the mark, and for a good reason : it was 
aimed at another. This is the first blunder in the 
Arminian statement of the Calvinistic position. It is . 
represented to be : that God decreed to cause the first / 
sin of man and then decreed to doom some of the 
fallen race to destruction for its commission. The"! 
true statement is : that God decreed to permit sin, audi j 
then decreed to continue some of the race under the| * 
condemnation which he foreknew they would, byi 
their own fault, incur. 

The second blunder in the Arminian statement of 
the Calvinistic position is, that the decrees of election 
and reprobation are represented_as being equally un- / 
conditional. They are said to correspond in this re- 
spe^r This representation is only partly correct; and 
how far it is correct and how far incorrect, it is im- 
portant to observe. It is admitted that both the 
decrees of election and reprobation are conditioned 
upon the divine foreknowledge of the Fall; that is to 
say, the foreknowledge of the Fall is, in the order of , 
thought, pre-supposed by each of these decrees. This 
is the doctrine of the Calvinistic Confessions, and 
even of Calvin himself. ' But the question before us 
is, whether the divine foreknowledge of the special 
acts of men, done after the Fall, conditioned these 
decrees. It has already been shown that in this 
regard the decree of election is unconditional. It is 
not conditioned bv the divine foreknowledge of the 

on Rom. ix. ii; i Pet. i. 20. 

i88 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

faith, good works and perseverance therein of the in- 
dividnals whom God wills to save. The qnestion 
being, whether the decree of reprobation is also un- 
conditional, a distinction must be taken. The pre- 
terition — the passing by — of some of the fallen mass, 
and leaving them in their sin and ruin, is uncon- 
f ditional. It is not conditioned by the divine fore- 
knowledge of their special sins, rendering them more 
I ill-deserving than those whom God is pleased to elect. 
So far reprobation is unconditional. In this regard, 
it is, like election, grounded in the good pleasure of 
God's sovereign will. But the judicial condemnation 
— the continuing under the sentence of the broken 
law — of the non-elect, is conditional. It is condi- 
tioned by the divine foreknowledge of the first sin 
and of all actual transgressions, the special sins which 
spring from the principle of original corruption. In 
this respect, and to this extent, the decrees of election 
and reprobation are different, the one being uncondi- 
tional, the other conditional. To say, then, that they 
are entirely alike in being both unconditional is to 
misrepresent the Calvinistic position. This exposition 
is supported by the following statement of Principal 
Cunningham: "The second — the positive, judicial 
act — is more properly that which is called, in our 
Confession, 'foreordaining to everlasting death,' and 
'ordaining those who have been passed by to dishonor 
and wrath for their sin.' God ordains none to wrath 
or punishment, except on account of their sin, and 
makes no decree to subject them to punishment which 
is not founded on, and has reference to, their sin, as a 
thing certain and contemplated. But the first, or 
negative, act of pretention, or passing by, is not 

Objection from Divine Justice. 189 

founded upon their sin, and perseverance in it as fore- 
seen." ^ 

The third blunder in the Arminian statement of 
the Calvinistic position is, that the decrees of election 
and reprobation are alike in being causes from which 
human acts proceed as effects; the former being the 
cause of holy acts in those who are to be saved, the 
latter, of sinful acts in those who are to be lost. Af- 
ter what has already been said there is little need to 
dwell npon the defectiveness of this statement. A 
sinner is destitute of any principle of holiness from 
which holy acts could spring. The efficiency of grace 
is a necessity to the production of holiness in his 
case. But the principle of depravity in a sinner's 
nature is itself a cause of sinful acts. Unless, there- 
fore, the Calvinistic doctrine could be fairly charged 
with teaching that God causes the sinful principle, it 
cannot be held to teach that he causes the sinful acts 
which it naturally produces. On the contrary, it 
maintains that the principle of sin in the nature of 
man is self-originated. Its consequences are obviously 
referred to the same origin: all sin, original and ac- 
tual is affirmed to be caused by man himself God, 
in reprobating the sinner for his sins, cannot be said 
to cause his sins. 

But it will be replied that the difficulty is not en- 
tirely removed; for reprobation supposes that God 
withholds from the sinner the efficiency of grace by 
which alone he could produce holy acts, and so is 
represented as causing the absence of those acts and 
the commission of sinful. The rejoinder is plain: the 
assertion of a correspondence between the two decrees 

^ Hist. Ttieol., Vol. ii. p. 430. 

190 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

in regard to causal efficiency operating upon the sin- 
ner is given up. The only similarity remaining is 
one between election as directly and positively caus- 
ing holy acts and reprobation as indirectly and nega- 
tively occasioning sinful. This amounts to a relin- 
quishment of the analogy affirmed to obtain between 
them, and the preferment of a separate charge against 
• the justice of reprobation: namely, that God is un- 
just in withholding from some sinners the efficient 
grace which he is said to impart to others. But if all 
men are sinners by their own free self-decision and, 
therefore, by their own fault, there would have been 
no injustice had God withheld his grace from all. 
Consequently there could have been no injustice in 
withholding it from some. What is true of all must 
be true of some. This point will meet further con- 
sideration as the discussion advances. 

It is clear, in view of what has been said, that the 
implication contained in the fore-cited Arminian 
statement of the Calvinistic doctrine of reprobation is 
far from being correct — namely, that God, by virtue 
of that decree, causes the sins of the non-elect in the 
same way as, by virtue of the decree of election, he 
causes the faith and good works of the elect. In the 
decree of election he ordains men to salvation not be- 
cause of their obedience, but of his mere mercy, ac- 
cording to the counsel of his sovereign will; while, in 
the decree of reprobation, he judicially, that is, in 
accordance with the requirement of his justice, ordains 
men to punishment because of their self-elected diso- 

The Calvinistic doctrine having thus been cleared 
of mis-conception and mis-statement, we are prepared 

Objection from Divutc Justice. 191 

for the real state of the question. It is this : Was 
God just ill eternally decreeing to punish transgressors 
of his law for their wilful violation of it? This bein<r 
the real question, what answer but one can be given ? 
Has not God, the righteous Governor of the world, a 
right to exercise his justice upon voluntary sinners? 
And if he has, was he unrighteous in eternally de- 
creeing to exercise his justice upon them? The ar- 
gument is not with those who deny the existence of 
retributive justice in God, but with those who admit 
it, and justify its exercise upon the wicked. How, 
then, can they pronounce a doctrine inconsistent with 
the divine justice, which affirms that God decreed to 
reprobate men for their sin? We may well ask with 
Paul, "Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?" 
Is the Judge of all the earth unjust in inflicting punish- 
ment upon reckless and inexcusable revolters against 
his government and violators of his law? It is evi- 
dent that this cannot be the doctrine against which 
the objection under consideration is urged. It cannot 
be consistently advanced against this doctrine by the 
Arminian, for with the Calvinist he admits the justice 
of God in punishing wilful sinners. The doctrine 
against which it is directed is, that God so decreed the 
sin of man that it became in consequence of his decree 
necessary and unavoidable, and then decreed to punish 
man for what he could not avoid. But, as has been 
shown, that is not the doctrine which is held by the 
great body of Calvinists or stated in the Calvinistic 

A special form of the objection drawn from the di- 
vine justice against the Calvinistic doctrines of elec- 
tion and reprobation is, that they ascribe partiality to 

T92 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

God, in that he is represented as discriminating be- 
tween those who are in the same case, by decreeing to 
save some and to reprobate others. The objection in 
this form is at least relevant, for the discrimination 
which is charged the Calvinist admits ; bnt he denies 
that the discrimination involves partiality, in the 
sense of injnstice. If there be injnstice, it mnsf 
cither be to the divine government, or to the elect, or 
to the reprobate. It cannot be to the divine govern- 
ment, for the elect are saved through the merit of 
Christ, their glorious Substitute, who in their room 
rendered perfect satisfaction to the divine justice for 
their sins. It cannot be to the elect, for salvation 
cannot possibly inflict injustice upon them. It can- 
not be to the reprobate, for they had no sort of claim 
to the divine favor which was refused. They pos- 
sessed no right of which they were defrauded. The 
only desert they had was of punishment for their sins. 
Where then is the injustice which was inflicted upon 
them? Discrimination there was, but it was between 
those who were all equally ill-deserving; and surely 
God had the right to release some from merited pun- 
ishment, and to continue others under its infliction. 
Surely he had the right to exercise his mercy toward 
some and his justice upon others. 

It might, with some color of plausibility, be said 
that God was not good in saving some and leaving 
others to perish, but how it can be pleaded that he 
was unjust passes comprehension. Let it be clearly 
perceived that none had any, the least, claim upon 
the divine regard, and the objection of unjust par- 
tiality at once vanishes. Let it be seen that all had 
brought themselves into sin and condemnation by 

Objection from Divine Justice. 193 

their own free and nnnecessitated decision, and it 
nmst be granted that the glorification of his mercy in 
the salvation of some, and of his jnstice in the pun- 
ishment of others, were ends which were worthy of 
God. They were all, as criminals, prisoners in the 
hands of jnstice. God, as the supreme Sovereign 
pleases to exercise clemency towards some of them, 
and, as supreme Judge, continues to exercise justice 
upon others, for the purpose of glorifying both his 
grace and his justice in the eyes of the universe. The 
execution of justice upon criminals is always dreadful; 
it can never be unjust. No temper but that of squeam- 
ish sentimentality, or of captious insubordination to 
the righteous measures of government, can detect in- 
justice in such a procedure. One would suppose that 
instead of objecting to the justice of God in the pun- 
ishment of his fellow-criminals, he who has been dis- 
charged by unmerited favor from his deserved share 
in their doom would spend time and eternity in thank- 
ful acknowledgments of tliat grace. That wicked 
men object to the justice of their own punishment is 
no matter of wonder; that pious men object to the 
justice of God in punishing the wicked, even though 
he might save them, is a fact which can only be 
accounted for on the ground that there is a wrong 
application of a true principle, as a standard of 
judgment in the case. Arminians and other Anti- 
Calvinists object to the Calvinist doctrine of reproba- 
tion because, as they contend, it involves this mon- 
strous assumption : that God judicially condemns to 
everlasting punishment those whose sin was unavoid- 
able and was therefore no fault of their own. God 
is represented as magnifying his justice in the punish- 

194 Calvi/tism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

ment of the innocent. How do they support this 
objection ? 

They lay it down as a fundamental principle, that 
ability is always the condition a ltd measure of obliga- 
tion. No one can justly be required, under any cir- 
cumstances, to do what he is unable to do. Ability 
to do must be equal to the commanded duty. This 
principle, in itself true, is universally applied, and 
consequently in some cases wrongly applied. It is 
applied to man in his present fallen and sinful condi- 
tion as well as to man in his oris^inal and unfallen and 
sinless estate. The Calvinist maintains that men are 
now, in consequence of the Fall, and as unregenerate, 
in a condition of spiritual inability. They are not 
able to furnish acceptable obedience to the moral law, 
and they are likewise unable to comply with the re- 
quirements of the gospel. Now in what way did they 
come to be thus disabled ? If by their own fault, 
their inability is the fruit of avoidable sin, and is 
therefore itself a sin. But, contends the Arminian, 
the Calvinist holds that they were boni thus disabled ; 
and if so, the inability was contracted by no fault of 
their own. It is congenital and constitutional. To 
condemn them for not doing what an inability so 
derived disqualifies them for doing is plainly unjust. 
It is like striking a corpse for a death which the living 
man could not avoid. This is the cardinal point in 
the question now at issue, and to it especial attention 
must be devoted. 

I. The Sublapsarian Calvinist — and he is the true 
Calvinist — is not committed to the support of either 
party in the contest between the Arminian and the 
Supralapsarian. He is an interested spectator, except 

Objection from Divine Jtistice. 

when his own position is endangered by assault, 
the battle advances he cries, Strike on, Arminian ! 
Wield the mighty principle that God is not the author 
of sin : that, in the first instance — the instance of man 
in innocence — ability is the condition and measure of 
obligation. Again he shouts, Strike on, Supralap- 
sarian ! Wield the mighty principle that in the second 
instance — the instance of man in his present fallen 
state — ability is not the condition and measure of 
obligation : that man's present inability is his own sin 
and crime, for which God justly condemns him to 
punishment. That, at the origin of the human race 
in innocence, ability conditioned and measured obli- 
gation, is not a distinctive tenet of Arminianism; it 
is the doctrine of the true Church Universal. That, 
in the present fallen condition of the race, inability 
cannot and does not discharge men from their obliga- 
tion, as subjects of God's government, to render 
obedience to all his requirements, whether legal or 
evangelical, — this is not a peculiar tenet of Supra- 
lapsarianism; it also is the doctrine of the true Church 
Universal. The Arminian adheres to the faith of 
that Church, so far as man in innocence is concerned, 
and breaks with it, so far as man in his fallen, unre- 
generate state is concerned. The Supralapsarian 
departs from it as to man in innocence and cleaves to 
it as to fallen, unregenerate man. Both are right and 
both are wrong. The Calvinist holds the faith of the 
true Cliurch in its integrity. 

2. The difficulty of reconciling congenital inability 
with the justice of God in condemning men to pun- 
ishment presses upon the Evangelical Arminian as 
well as upon the Calvinist. The former holds that 

ig6 Calvinism ajid Evangelical Aruiinianism. 

men are born nnder gnilt and in depravity. Conse- 
quently he must hold, and in fact does hold, that they 
are born in a condition of spiritual inability.^ It is 
true that Dr. Pope speaks of an "unindividualized" 
human nature which before the birth of individuals 
is, through the virtue of Christ's atonement, freed 
from the guilt of Adam's sin and endued with a 
measure of spiritual life, and implies that were it not 
for this redemptive provision individuals would be 
born in spiritual death. But at other times he talks 
in the same dialect as his brethren, and admits the 
Evangelical doctrine that men are born in that condi- 
tion. The question then is, how the Arminian har- 
monizes this fact with his fundamental principle that 
ability conditions obligation and the justice of God in 
punishing men for disobedience to his requirements. 
In this way : he holds that along with the decree to 
permit the Fall, there was, conditioned by the divine 
foreknowledge that it would occur, the decree to pro- 
vide redemption from its consequences for all mankind. 
Accordingly, the merit of the universal atonement 
offered by Christ secured for all men the removal in 
infancy of the guilt of Adam's sin. And, further, he 
holds that a degree of spiritual life is imparted to 
every man, or, as it is sometimes expressed, a part of 
spiritual death is removed, and thus a measure of free 
will is restored. The original inability thus ceases to 
be total: men are endowed with a sufficient ability to 
comply with the divine requirements. 

'Articles of M. E. Church, vii, viii; Wesle}^ Semis, on Orig. 
Sin, New Birth; Treatise on Orig. Sift, et passim; Watson, Theo. 
Inst., Vol. ii, p. 49 ; Pope, Comp. Chris. Theot., Vol. ii, p. 80.; Ral- 
ston, Eleni. Div., p. 141; Raymond, Syst. TheoL, Vol. ii, p. 83. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 197 

(i.) The first of these positions— namely, that 
Adam's guilt is by virtue of the atonement removed 
from every infant, is opposed by insuperable difficul- 

First, the fundamental assumption, that the atone- 
ment was offered for every individual man, cannot be 
proved from the Scriptures. They teach that Christ 
died for those of all nations and classes who were, in 
the eternal covenant, given to him by the Father to 
be redeemed. But as no value will be attached by 
the Arminian to this assertion, let it, for the sake of 
argument, be supposed that by virtue of the atone- 
ment the guilt of Adam's sin is removed from every 
infant. What follows? As an infant, he has, ex hy- 
pothesi, no guilt derived from Adam. That is re- 
moved. In that respect, therefore, he is innocent. 
But as an infant cannot contract guilt by conscious 
transgression, he is also in that respect innocent. 
There being no other source of guilt, he is entirely 
innocent. Is the Evangelical Arminian prepared to 
take the Pelagian ground that infants are altogether 
innocent ? Further, he holds that infants are totally 
depraved in consequence of original sin residing in 
them as a principle. That he does not declare to have 
been removed by virtue of the atonement. We have 
then a being totally innocent and totally depraved, at 
one and the same time. Will the Evangelical Ar- 
minian defend that paradox? Further still, if it be 
said that total depravity is the result of development, 
and is consequently predicable only of the adult, the 
question arises, how a partial depravity, which is the 
principle of the development, can consist with entire 
innocence. The difficultv differs from the other 

198 Calviiiism and Evangelical Armitiianisin, 

merely in deQ^ree. If it be contended that the infant 
is both entirely innocent and entirely undepraved, the 
difficnlty is avoided, but others equally great are sub- 
stituted for it. For such a position would contradict 
the express teachings of his system and reduce his 
doctrine to bald Pelagianism, And, moreover, it 
would be impossible to account for the origin, the 
initial point of the development of depravity. There 
being no guilt and no depravity in the infant, he be- 
gins life both innocent and pure. How then does his 
depravity begin? Does each individual fall as Adam 
did ? And are there as many falls as there are individ- 
uals? Would these absurdities be admitted? "We do 
not," says Dr. Pope, "assume a second personal fall 
in the case of each individual reaching the crisis of 
responsibility."^ Well, then, each individual must 
begin existence depraved, and therefore cannot be in- 
nocent. But if he has oruilt it must be Adam's gfuilt 
imputed, for he cannot contract, as an infant, the 
guilt of personal, conscious transgression. 

There are two methods by which the Arminian 
may be conceived to evade the force of this difficulty. 
He may deny that depravity is sin. He may say, I 
admit the connate depravity of the infant, but as I 
do not concede that depravity is of the nature of sin, 
I am not exposed to the pressure of this difficulty. 
Innocence may not consist with sin, but it may with 
depravity. Lest it be supposed that this extraordinary 
hypothesis has been conjured up for the sake of an 
ideal completeness of the argument, let us hear a re- 
cent writer. Dr. C. W. IMiller. Expressly following 
Limborch in his discussion of Original Sin, he says: 
^ Comp. Chris. Theol., vol. ii. p. 59. 


Objection from Divine Justice. i99 

" It is shown that the ' inclination to sin ' which is a 
part of the fearful heritage received from Adam is 
Lt sin properly so called.' This is an nni^rtant 
point" "The fundamental truth is here affirmed 
'that'there is no corruption in children which is truly 
and properly sin.' This cuts the tap- root of Augus- 
tinianism, whose main postulate is that in ants in- 
herit a moral corruption from Adam which is o the ^ . 
nature of sin, and deserves eternal death. ' Speaking _ 
p.relv for himself he further savs : " The confusion V .^ 
of thought in Augustinianism consists in confound- 
ing «« and depravity. They are not t'- n-ther 
do thev have anv necessary connection. It is true 

that man 'as boni after the Fall possesses, even be- 
fore anv volitional act of his own, a fallen nature. 
But that this ' fallen nature ' is a ' sinful state un- 
righteous evil, moral evil, sin, sinfulness,' [tl- J-oted 
language being taken from Whedon on the Will] is 
an "^utter absurdity. A 'sinful ^nature or state can 
be produced only by actual sin." ' 

In the first place, this hypothesis is extravagantly 
paradoxical. It violates the meaning ot the terms 
and the nsns loquendi oi Christendom, including he 
Evan-elical Arminian bodies themselves. In the 
second place, it strips a confessed inclination to sm of 
all sinful quality. In the third place it denies sin- 
fulness of the intense selfishness which manifests it- 
self in children before they can intelligently appreci- 
ate their relation to the moral law. In the fourth 
place, it places every infant in the sinless condition 
of Adam before he fejkj>mnoUia^extenUsj^^ 
-Z^j^T^^ii^Ur^fS^nturies. W "5, n6, >66, .08: Nashville, 
South. ISIeth. Pub. House, 1884. 

200 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

Pelagian; and in the fifth place, it makes the nniver- 
sal allusion of theology and the Church to the Fall 
a wretched solecism, since there would be as many 
separate falls from sinlessness into sin as there have 
been, are and will be, human beings on earth. One 
may well pause here and notice, in this conspicuous 
instance, the trend of contemporary Arminian specu- 
lation to the Semi-Pelagianism of Cassian and Lim- 
borch. Indeed, Dr. Miller has no hesitation in avow- 
ing himself a theologian of that school. It requires 
no argument to show that if Evangelical Arminian- 
ism should take on that theological type it will have 
renounced the leadership of Wesley, Fletcher and 
Watson; notwithstanding Dr. Miller's labored attempt 
to evince the contrary. 

There is another and apparently more promising 
method by which an attempt may be made to meet 
the difficulty created by the alleged co-existence in 
the infant of corruption with entire innocence. It 
will be urged that the same difficulty obtains in the 
case of the adult who is actually justified by faith. 
His whole guilt is removed by the justifying act, but 
yet the principle of corruption remains, and it will 
no doubt be said that upon this fact the Calvinist lays 
especial emphasis. But — 

The removal of guilt and regeneration are insep- 
arably related to each other. If one takes place so 
must the other. This is admitted by the Arminian 
himself No question is here raised in regard to tlie 
order in which they occur — that is, whether regener- 
ation precedes justification, or the opposite. Nor is 
it here made a question whether they occur synchron- 
ously, or may be separated by an interval of time. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 20 1 

What is urged is, that where one of these great 
clianges takes place the other will at some time assur- 
edly occur. In the divine plan of salvation they are 
never disjoined. As the Calvinist would say, he who 
has been regenerated will be justified, and as the Ar- 
minian would put it, he who has been justified will 
be regenerated. No adult is held, by either, to be 
merely regenerated or merely justified, merely re- 
newed or merely absolved from guilt. There is not 
in the case of the justified believer the simple co-ex- 
istence of depravity with the removal of guilt. This 
inseparable relation of justification and regeneration 
the i\rminian concedes with reference to infants dy- 
ing in infancy. No human being can be admitted 
into heaven guilty and unregenerate. But the weight 
of the difficulty lies upon the case of the unregener- 
ate infant who lives to adult age. He, according to 
the supposition, is absolved from Adam's guilt and 
yet is not regenerate. There is the simple, unmod- 
ified co-existence of innocence and depravity in his 
case, and consequently the analogy between it and 
that of the justified believer fails. 

If to meet this special difficulty, it be said that not 
only are all infants justified from the guilt of Adam's 
sin, but that all infants are regenerated, the rejoinder 
is, that the Arminian doctrine, so far from teaching 
the regeneration of all infants, teaches the contrary ; 
and further, it cannot be true that every heathen man 
has been regenerated in infancy. 

It deserves also to be noticed that while depravity 
continues to exist in the justified believer, its oper- 
ation is, in two respects, very seriously modified, (i.) 
It no longer reigns. It is not ihe dominant principle. 

202 Calvinisni and Evangelical Arini)iianism. 

Grace reigns. But in the infant unregenerated and 
incapable of consciously exercising faith in Christ, de- 
pravity is the reigning principle, and in the event of 
his growing to maturity will develop as such until 
regeneration takes place and faith is exercised for jus- 
tification. (2.) In the justified believer depravity is 
checked, its development hindered, by the principle 
of holiness; and this principle, as it increases in 
energy, contributes more and more to the destruction 
of corruption. As this cannot be true of the unre- 
generate infant, it is obvious that the cases are not 

Another specific difference between the two cases 
lies in the fact that, previously to justification, every 
believer has committed conscious sins, and developed, 
by his voluntary agency, the principle of depravity. 
While he is absolved from guilt, so far as the rectoral 
justice of God is concerned, and the retributive con- 
sequences of sin are involved, it is consistent with 
fatherly justice that the principle of corruption, re- 
strained by grace, should remain within him. In- 
trinsically, that is, considered not as in Christ, but in 
himself, he deserves to eat some of the fruits of his 
own doing, and experimentally to feel the bitter- 
ness of sin. This vindication of the co-existence of 
depravity with justification will not apply to the cir- 
cumstances of an infant, who, according to the sup- 
position, has been justified from guilt without having 
committed any conscious sin. 

Moreover, it ought not to escape observation that the 
depravity which continues in the justified believejr is 
so overruled by God's government of grace as to secure 
the ends of a wholesome discipline. Now, it may be 


Objection from Divine Jnsfiee. 203 

doubted whether any infant is, as such, susceptible of 
cisciplinary rule; but, even if that hypothesis were 
admissible in relation to infants dying in infancy, it 
cannot be shown that depravity is overruled so as to 
further the ends of a salutary discipline in the cases 
of infants who do not die in infancy, but live to adult 
age and palpably die in their sins. 

These considerations are sufficient to show that the 
objection pressed against the Arminian doctrine of the 
absolution of every infant from the guilt of Adam's 
sin, that it involves the co-existence of entire inno- 
cence and depravity, cannot be met by an appeal to 
the case of the justified believer. 

Secondly, the view that Adam's guilt has been re- \ *f,^V^^ 
moved from every infant cannot be harmonizd with 
the existence of depravity, whether regarded from the 
point of view of its origin, or of its results. Wesley 
and Watson admit that it is penal in its origin. But 
if so, as the guilt of Adam's sin is removed from the 
infant by virtue of the atonement, the depravity 
which is one of its penal consequences must also be 
removed. It is, however, inconsistently maintained 
that while the cause is destroyed the effect remains. 
Let depravity be contemplated w-ith reference to its 
results. It must be admitted that they are penal. 
Whoever commits sin is worthy of punishment. This 
desert of punishment must be checked by the provis- 
ion of vicarious atonement, or penal infliction must 
follow as its consequence. In the case of the infant, 
w^ho lives to maturity, depravity, it is conceded, is- 
sues in conscious acts of sin. Before he is justified 
by faith these sins merit punishment. Notwithstand- 
ing then the allegred removal of Adam's guilt from 

204 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

the infant, he incurs condemnation when he commits 
personal sins ; and this is the natural result of the 
existence in him of the principle of corruption. How 
is this exposure to incur punishment reconcilable 
with the removal of Adam's guilt? Only in one con- 
ceivable way : bv his fallino^ into sin throug:h his own 
avoidable act. But such a fall is denied in regard to 
each individual, as we have seen in a citation from 
Dr. Pope. And such a fall as Adam's was when he 
first contracted guilt would be out of the question, 
since our first father had, previously to his first act of 
sin, no principle of depravity, and the infant confess- 
edly has. If it be urged that sufficient grace is given 
to make the first sinful act and its consequent fall 
avoidable, it would follow that each individual falls 
as Adam did ; and that is denied. It is evident that 
the presence of the principle of corruption in the un- 
regenerated infant, who is held to be exempted from 
the penal consequences of Adam's sin and yet is not 
guilty of conscious transgression,* is a fact which 
must prove troublesome to the Evangelical Arminian.^ 

^ It may be urged that the same reduction to absurdity applies to 
the Calviuistic element of the Federal Theology, that the elect 
are, in consequence of their virtual or representative justification 
in Christ their Covenant Head, absolved from their virtual or rep- 
resentative condemnation in Adam their head in the first Covenant. 
How can they be conceived to be, in infancy, at the same time 
free from guilt and totally depraved ? The answer is, that although 
they are virtually justified, they are actually condemned. There 
is no contradiction between virtual justification and actual con- 
demnation. In the case of the elect who become adults, their ac- 
tual condemnation in Adam continues iintil they exercise faith in 
Christ and are actually justified. Their actual condemnation and 
their depravity go on concurrently until then. In the case of in- 
fants, dying in infancy, regeneration implants the principle of holi- 

Obicction from Divine Justice. 205 

Thirdly, if Adam's guilt is removed from every 
infant, the Arminian has to account for spiritual death ^^>Lv*^ 
as remaining in him. Spiritual death is held by him^v^.v ^' 
to be a consequence of Adam's guilt entailed upon 
his posterity. Now if the cause be removed the effect 
must go with it. But, confessedly, the effect does not 
eo. It must therefore be inferred that the cause still 
operates to produce it. If then all infants are in a 
condition of spiritual death, it cannot be true that 
Adam's guilt has been removed from them. It will 
not do to say in reply to this that a degree of spiritual 
life is imparted to them. For, on that supposition, 
some degree of spiritual death remains, as is evident 
from the form in which Wesley's statement is pre- 
sented by Watson — namely, a portion of spiritual 

ness which contains the seed of faith ; and it is not impossible, it is 
probable, that God applies to them, notwithstanding the fact that 
they cannot exercise faith, the blood of atonement and actually 
justifies them. In their case, all guilt and all depravity are alike 
removed by sovereign grace at death, and in heaven they will ex- 
press their conscious acceptance of the plan by which they were 
saved. In the case of the elect, who are regenerated in infancy 
and may live to adult age before they exercise faith in Christ and 
are actually justified, tliree elements until then co-exist in them : 
actual condemnation, the principle of holiness, and the principle 
of depravity. There is nothing strange in this supposition, of the 
co-existence in them of the principles of holiness and depravity, 
seeing that the same co-existence remains after actual justification ; 
the difference being that up to that change depravity reigns, and 
after it holiness. The Arminian theology, which knows nothing 
of the distinction between virtual or representative justification 
and actual, inasmuch as it rejects the principle of Representation, 
strictly considered, which necessitates* that distinction, labors un- 
der all the difficulties which have been mentioned. It holds the 
absolution of the infant from all condemnation, in every sense, 
and yet maintains the presence in him of depravity — the co-exist- 
ence of absolute innocence and the principle of corruption. 

2o6 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

death is removed. The portion, then, which is not 
removed remains. But the part continuing must be 
accounted for; and it could only be accounted for on 
the ground that a part at least of Adam's guilt, which 
is its cause, continues. 
A Fourthly, actual justification is split in two by this 
' hypothesis, both as to the thing itself, and as to the 
time at which it occurs. For every infant is said to 
be justified, so far as Adam's guilt is concerned. 
When he has arrived at adult age he is exhorted to 
seek justification by faith. If he receive it, it is only 
in part. For as in infancy he was actually justified 
from Adam's guilt, he can, as an adult, be justified 
only from the guilt of his own conscious sins. But 
the Scriptures make no such division. They teach 
that actual justification is one, having reference as 
well to tlie guilt derived from Adam as to that con- 
tracted by personal transgressions. 

Fifthly, the Evangelical Arminian theology is ii^ 
consistent with itself in regard to the analogy which 
it affirms between the effects of Adam's sin and 
Christ's righteousness. In the first place, it admits 
that Adam's sin entailed spiritual death upon his 
descendants. But as it contends that Adam's guilt is 
entirely removed from his posterity by virtue of the 
atonement, it should, to be consistent, hold that the 
entire effect of that guilt is removed. Tliat would 
involve the total removal of spiritual death. On the 
contrary, it only concedes the removal of a portion of 
j spiritual death. Tlie benefit of the Atonement does 
\ not match the injury of the Fall. The life conferred 
is not equal to the death inflicted. The analogy 
breaks down. In the second place, it admits that the 

Objection frof/i Divine Jiisiice. 207 

condeniiiation entailed by Adam's sin upon the whole 
race was actual, not possible. As it contends for an 
analogous effect, mutatis mutandis^ of Christ's right- 
eousness upon the whole race, the justification of the 
whole race ought to be actual, not possible. But 
only in part is it said to be actual : only infants ex- 
perience an actual justification, and that from Adam's 
guilt. The justification of the infant who lives to 
adult age is merely possible. It is conditioned upon 
a faith which may never be exercised. The justifica- 
tion bestowed by Christ does not match the condem- 
nation entailed by Adam. In the third place, it 
admits that the ruin resultino^ from Adam's sin was 
an actual, not a possible, ruin. The race is "lost and 
ruined by the Fall." So the salvation resulting from 
Christ's righteousness should be an actual, not pos- 
sible, salvation. But the analogy fails. The possible 
salvation said to have been won by Christ does not 
^tiatch the actual ruin inflicted by Adam: in Adam all 
do die; in Christ all may live. Myriads do not 
actually live. For to restrict the term life to the 
resurrection of the body, and to say that the wicked 
will be raised to life in Christ, is to misinterpret the 
glorious words of Paul, and destroy their grand sig- 

(2.) The position must next be considered, that, by 
virtue of Christ's atonement, God has given to every 
man a degree of spiritual life involving the restoration 
of a measure of free-will, so that every man is endued 
with sufl[icient ability to comply with the divine re- 
quirements. Now, either it is contended that this 
infusion of a degree of spiritual life is regeneration, 
or that it is not. 

2o8 Gcilvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

If it be contended that it is reg^eneration, the reply- 
is obvious. It is true that Arniinian writers do not 
make this supposition, and therefore it would seem to 
be unnecessarily considered here. But if there be an 
impartation of spiritual life to those who are admitted 
to be spiritually dead, it must be regeneration, even 
though it is by Arminians denied to be. The consid- 
eration of the hypothesis is therefore, from the neces- 
sity of the case, required. Now — 

In the first place, Arminians are inconsistent with 
themselves in regard to this subject. If every man 
who by nature is spiritually dead is by grace made 
spiritually alive, it is perfectly manifest that every 
man is in infancy born again; for the new birth is 
precisely the change in which a principle of spiritual 
life is supernatttralty introduced into the soul of the 
sinner. To take anv other oround is to o^ainsav the 
Scriptures. They represent the change as one in 
which the spiritually dead sinner is quickened, and 
if the infusion of a degree of spiritual life does not 
quicken the soul, language has no meaning. Every 
man then is in infancy born again. But Evangelical 
Arminians and Evangelical Arminian preachers en- 
force upon adults the necessity of being born again. 
Why preach the need of the new birth to those who 
are already born again? How with consistency can it 
be said. You are regenerated, but you must be regen- 

In the second place, if the impartation of a degree 
of spiritual life be regeneration, as the purpose of its 
bestowal, according to the Arminian theology, is that 
the will of the sinner may be assisted in determining 
the question of conversion, the regenerating grace of 

Objection from Divine JiiUice. 209 

the Holy Ghost is reduced into subordination to the 
natural will : it is made a minister to incite that will 
to take saving action. Surely that cannot be true. If 
it be replied that it is the regenerating grace that de- 
termines the will, one of the differentiating elements 
of the Arminian system is given up, and, to* that ex- 
tent, the Calvinistic adopted. 

In the third place, either it is maintained that this 
degree of spiritual life continues, or that it does not 
continue, with the sinner until the moment of his be- 
lieving in Christ. If it continue with him through 
all changes until he believes, it may be long after he 
has reached adult age, how comes it to pass that it 
does not prove more successful as an assistant of the 
will? Could anything more clearly show the inferi- 
ority and subserviency to the natural wnll'of the re- 
generating grace of God, than such an hypothesis ? 
If it does not continue till the act of believing in 
Christ, but may be lost through the obstinate resist- 
ance of the sinner's will, is it again imparted, and 
again, and again ? Is the series of infusions kept up 
until final impenitency ensues and the failure of its 
mission stands confessed ; or until the sovereign will 
of the sinner vouchsafes compliance with its solicita- 
tions ? And is the sinner, before he believes in Christ, 
born again an indefinite number of times ? Are there 
many spiritual births before that second birth for 
which the unconverted sinner is exhorted to pray and 
strive ? 

If it be contended— and it is by Arminian waiters 
contended— that the infusion of a degree of spiritual 
life into every man is not regeneration, the answer is: 
from the nature of the case it must be. That which 

2IO Calvinism and Evangelical Arininianism. 

is dead has no degree of life; that wliicli has a degree 
of life is not dead. The supposition of the least de- 
gree of life destroys the supposition of death. If then 
the least degree of spiritual life be infused into every 
man, it follows that every man is spiritually alive. 
To deny this is to affirm that a man may be spiritually 
dead and spiritually alive at one and the same time. 
But if, in consequence of the infusion of a degree of 
spiritual life into every man, every man is spiritually 
alive, every man is regenerated. Every heathen is, in 
infancy, regenerated. For, it is the very office of re- 
generation to impart spiritual life to the spiritually 
dead sinner. It is admitted by all evangelical theo- 
logians, including Arminians, that regeneration, 
strictly speaking, is God's act in consequence of which 
a sinner is born again. If then he cannot be spirit- 
ually alive before he is spiritually born, or, what is 
the same, born again, he cannot be spiritually alive 
before he is regenerated; as he cannot begin to live 
spiritually before his new birth, he cannot begin to 
live spiritually before his regeneration. Upon this 
point we w^ant no clearer proof than is furnished by 
Wesley himself "Before" he says, "a child is born 
into the world, he has eyes, but sees not : he has ears, 
but does not hear. He has a very imperfect use of 
any other sense. He has no knowledge of any of the 
things of the world, or any natural understanding. 
To that manner of existence wdiich he then has 
we do not even give the name of life. It is then 
only when a man is born that we say he begins to 

He then applies the felicitous illustration to the case 
of a man "in a mere natural state, before he is born 

Objection from Divine Justice. 2ii 

of God." ^ This witness is true. To be spiritually 
alive is to be born ag^ain. But as to be born again is 
to be regenerated, to be spiritually alive is to be re- 
generated. One, therefore, fails to see how the Evan- 
gelical Arminian can consistently deny that, accord- 
ing to his doctrine, every man is in infancy regener- 
ated. There is but one conceivable mode in which 
this difficulty maybe sought to be avoided. He may 
deny that one who has a degree of spiritual life is 
spiritually alive ; and it is enough to say of such a 
position that its statement is its refutation. But if it 
comes to this, that every m^n is affirmed to be regen- 
erated in infancy, the doctrine would surpass in ex- 
travagance that of baptismal regeneration ; and yet, 
by a happy inconsistency, the Evangelical Arminian 
utterly rejects that doctrine. Wonders never cease. 

One might go on accumulating obstacles in the 
path of this remarkable tenet, that God gives a degree 
or seed of spiritual life to every man; but more will 
not now be said in regard to it, as it is the same with 
the doctrine of "sufficient grace" which has already 
been partially considered, and will be still more par- 
ticularly examined when the objection to the Calvin- 
istic doctrine from the divine goodness shall come to 
be discussed. It has been shown that tlie Arminian 
attempt is vain to escape the difficulty which was 
alleged to rest upon him as well as upon the Calvinist 
— namely, the reconciliation of the spiritual inability 
in which men are born with the justice of God in 
punishing them for sin. 

3. The Calvinistic solution of this great difficulty, 
from the days of Augustin to the present time, is, 
^ Serm. on the New Birth. 

212 Calvinism and Ez'ano-elical Arminianism 


that men's spiritual inability is not original, but 
penal. It is not original, for God conferred upon man 
at the creation ample ability to comply with all his 
requirements. There was not inserted into his nature 
any evil principle from which sin could be developed, 
nor any weakness or imperfection which, in the 
absence of determining grace, necessitated a fall. 
He was, it is true, liable to fall in consequence 
of mutability of will, but he was at the same time 
able to stand. When, therefore, he sinned, the fault 
was altogether his own. He could not lay the blame 
upon his natural constitution, and so, by implication, 
upon its divine author. He unnecessarily and inex- 
cusably revolted against the paternal and beneficent 
rule of God, and consequently subjected himself to 
the just sentence of a violated law. When lie sinned, 
he wantonly, deliberately, wilfully threw away that 
spiritual ability with which he had been richly en- 
dowed. He disabled himself by his. own act. His 
subsequent inability to love God and obey his law 
was a necessary part of his punishment. For, the 
judicial curse of the divine government, and the 
rupture of the spiritual bond which united him to 
God as the source of holiness and strength, certainly 
involved the withdrawal of grace, and the loss of 
ability. Original righteousness was forfeited. In a 
word, his inability was penal. 

Now, when our first father sinned, he acted not for 
himself alone but also for his posterity. He was ap- 
pointed by God their federal head and representative. 
Consequently, while his act of sin was not theirs con- 
sciously and subjectively, for at the time of its com- 
mission they had no conscious existence, it was theirs 

Objection from Divine Justice. 2 1 3 

federally, legally, representatively. The judicial con- 
sequences of his first sin were likewise entailed upon 
them. "They sinned in him and fell with him in 
his first transgression;" they were condemned in 
his condemnation; and they lost their spiritual ability 
in him. The spiritual inability which was a part of 
his punishment is a part of theirs. As the inability 
which he brought upon himself did not, and could 
not, discharge him from the obligation to obey God, 
so neither does theirs relieve them of the same obli- 
gation. The spiritual inability of the race, as it was 
self-contracted by an avoidable act of rebellion against 
God, cannot exempt them from the punishment which 
is justly due to their sin. And if it be just for God to 
punish them in time, it was just for him to decree the 
punishment in eternity. That is to say, the decree of 
reprobation is consistent with justice. 

4. We have now reached the last point in this re- 
gression. We have got back to Adam, and the re- 
sponsibility of the race for his first sin. Here the dif- 
ference between the Calvinistic and Arminian doctrines 
seems to be lessened, and they appear to approximate 
each other. For they agree in affirming the account- 
ability of mankind for the first sin of the first man, 
although they differ as to the mode in which that 
accountability is realized; the Arminian contenting 
himself with holding the parental relation as ground- 
ing it, the Calvinist contending that over and beyond 
the parental there was the strictly legal and represen- 
tative relation from which the responsibility of the 
race is derived. To both parties the question springs 
up just here — and it is one of profoundest interest and 
importance — W^as it just that the human race should 

214 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

be held responsible for the first sin of Adam, their 
progenitor, so that the judicial consequences of that 
sin are entailed upon them? 

It is not necessary here to discuss the question, as 
one of fact, whether God entered into a covenant 
with Adam which implicated his posterity in his re- 
sponsibility. The fact of such a covenant, the fact 
that there was some sort of federal constitution in re- 
lation to Adam and his posterity, is admitted by 
Evangelical Arminians. They admit that the ac- 
count given in Genesis of the transactions in the gar- 
den of Eden is not allegorical but literal, not mythical 
but historical. They hold that the universality of 
bodily suffering and death, and of sin working with 
the force of an all-pervading law from the moment 
that the human faculties begin to expand, proves con- 
clusively that in some way guilt and depravity are 
inherited from the primitive ancestor of the race, and 
are not originated by the conscious acts of each indi- 
vidual. Every man at birth is the heir of guilt and 
corruption. As then the fact of a federal constitution 
of some kind, and of the accountability, in some 
sense, of all men as parties to it in their first parent, 
is maintained by Evangelical Arminians along with 
almost the whole nominal Church, it is not requisite 
to enforce the proofs of it which are challenged by 
Pelagians and Socinians, Rationalists and Sceptics. 
It will be assumed. 

But the questions, what the nature of the covenant 
was, in what sense Adam was the head and represent- 
ative of his posterity, how the federal constitution 
affects our conceptions of the justice of God in his 
dealings with the human race, — these questions it is 

Objection from Divine Justice. 215 

vital to the argument to consider. The Evangelical 
Arminian charges the Calvinistic doctrine with attri- 
buting injustice to God. But as he, with the Calvin- 
ist, concedes the hereditary guilt and corruption of 
mankind, in consequence of which, notwithstanding 
the aids of grace which he alleges are furnished them, 
innumerable multitudes actually perish, it is incum- 
bent upon him as w^ell as upon the Calvinist to vindi- 
cate the divine justice in view^ of these mysterious 
but undeniable facts. This he endeavors to accom- 
plish in two ways: 

(i.) The first is this: God, along w^ith the decree 
to permit the fall of the first man and of his posterity 
as implicated in his responsibility, and his foreknowl- 
edge that the fall thus permitted would take place, 
also decreed to provide a redemption which would 
match the foreseen evil in all its extent. It is pleaded 
that the apparent injustice in holding the race in- 
volved in the consequences of their first father^s siu 
and fall is relieved by the redemptive provision. The 
alleged bearing of this provided redemption upon the 
race, in absolving every man from the imputation of 
Adamic guilt, and restoring to each a seed of spiritual 
life and a competent measure of free will, thus afiford- 
ing to all a fair probation, removing from them spir- 
itual inability, and rendering it possible for them to 
avail themselves of the salvation procured by Christ, 
— this has been already discussed. The point now to 
be considered is, the allegation of the Evangelical 
Arminian theology that without such a decreed pro- 
vision of redemption, accompanying the fall of the 
race in Adam and intended to counteract its disastrous 
results, the justice of God could not be vindicated ; 

21 6 Calvi?tism and Evangelical Arminianisui. 

but that, on the other hand, the fact of that provision 
supplies the desired vindication. 

It is difficult, if not impracticable, to ascertain the 
catholic doctrines of the Evangelical Arminian system. 
One theologian teaches a doctrine which another 
either denies or modifies; 'and there is no common, 
recognized standard by which these differences could 
be judged. In regard to the positions just mentioned, 
for example, some hold that the purpose to permit the 
Fall with the entailment of its consequences upon all 
mankind, and the purpose to provide redemption as 
an antidote, were concurrent. Neither was the re- 
deeming purpose conditioned by the purpose to permit 
the Fall, nor was it pre-supposed by the purpose 
touching the Fall. They must be conceived as con- 
current, neither pre-supposing the other. With ref- 
erence to this view it is sufficient to say that it is 
neither conceivable nor credible. We are oblio-ed to 
think one purpose as pre-supposing another, not in 
the order of time — for that order is inapplicable to 
God's eternal purposes — but in the order of nature or 
of thought. How could the conception of redemption 
exist without the pre-supposition of beings to be 
redeemed ? And how could the conception of such 
beings obtain without the pre-supposition of a fall into 
sin and misery ? 

Again, it has, with more ground in reason, been 
maintained that the purpose of redemption, in the 
order of thought, preceded and conditioned the pur- 
pose to permit the Fall and, indeed, all other pur- 
poses, even that to create. But — 

In the first place, this view is inconsistent with the 
usual statement in the Arminian scheme of the order 

Objection from Divine Justice. 217 

of the divine purposes, — namely the purpose to create; 
the purpose to permit the Fall; the purpose to redeem; 
the purpose to call; the purpose to elect. 

In the second place, it has no clear support from 
Scripture. It has been supposed to be required by 
such passages as Colossians i. 16, where it is stated 
that all things were created, not only by Christ, but 
for him. This statement, however, does not neces- 
sarily imply that all things were created by the Son 
of God and for him, as he is Redeemer. And unless 
that could be proved to be the meaning of the passage, 
the view under consideration is not substantiated by 
it. No doubt the world was made for the glory of the 
eternal Son of God, but, for aught that appears to the 
contrary, that end might have been secured had sin 
not taken place, and had there consequently been no 
redemption. It is right to say that creation has by 
divine decree become a magnificent theatre for the 
display of the transcendent glory of redemption; but 
that is very different from saying that creation was 
decreed in order to be the theatre of redemption. 

In the third place, this scheme of the divine decrees 
is liable to some of the difficulties, metaphysical and 
moral, to which that of the Supralapsarian is exposed. 
A decree to redeem merely creatable beings, or even 
created but unfallen beings, is inconceivable, if not 
self-contradictory ; and if the decree of redemption, 
in the order of thought, preceded the decrees to create 
and to permit the Fall, creation and the Fall were 
means necessary to the accomplishment of the re- 
demptive end. That would run athwart the doctrine 
of a simple permission of the Fall; and, further, since 
a laroe section of the human race, according to the 

2i8 Calvinism a)id Evangelical Arviinianism. 

admission of Arminians, are not actually saved, the 
end contemplated by the decree of redemption would, 
to that extent, fail to be accomplished and the divine 
will be defeated. 

This view has also difficulties peculiar to itself. For, 
as the foreknowledge of a permitted fall could not, in 
the order of thought, have preceded the decree to 
create, since merely possible beings could not be per- 
mitted actually to fall, and it is impossible to see how 
the certainty that such beings would actually fall could 
be foreknown, the decree to redeem would have had 
no redeemable objects upon which to terminate, and 
therefore is inconceivable. x\nd still further, if it be 
contended that such a decree was possible, it follows 
that as it fails, in its execution, to secure the final re- 
demption of all, and actually issues in that only of 
some, of the human race, it would be subject to the 
very objection which Arminians urge against the Cal- 
vinistic decree of election. 

But, w^hatever be the relation which Evangelical 
Arminians predicate of the purpose to permit the Fall 
and the purpose to redeem, whether the one precedes 
the other, or they are absolutely concurrent, the dif- 
ficulty which they seek to avoid by making the de- 
cree to redeem complementary to the decree to per- 
mit the Fall still presses upon them. They do not, 
by this means, vindicate the justice of God in impli- 
cating the race in the responsibilities attending Adam's 
sin. It is held, let it be remembered, that it would 
have been unjust in God to treat the race as respon- 
sible for Adam's sin, had he not purposed to provide 
redemption from its consequences. 

First, It deserves to be remarked that EvanQrelical 

Objection from Divine Justice. 219 

Anniiiians are accustomed to enforce the analogy be- 
tween the sufferings of men for the sin of Adam and 
the sufferings of children for the sins of their parents. 
Now, either it is just that children should suffer for 
the sins of their parents, or it is unjust. If it be said 
to be just, then, if the analogy hold, it is just that 
Adam's children should suffer for his sin. If it be 
said to be unjust, God's ordinary providence is 
charged with injustice ; for it is a fact that children 
do suffer for the sins of their parents. Either alter- 
native is damaging to the Arminian view. Let it be 
observed, that this argument is addressed to the con- 
cessions of Arminians. The analogy which they 
plead I regard as deceptive, and the argument based 
upon it as inconclusive. 

Secondly, If the implication of the race in the con- 
sequences of Adam's sin would have been unjust 
apart from the purpose of redemption, it would followj 
that the prevention of the injustice must be conceivedj 
as having been the demand of justice and not a freei 
dictate of grace. A measure by which injustice is 
prevented or removed cannot, without an abuse of 
language, be denominated a fruit of grace. It is a 
product of justice. And so the grace of God is no 
more grace. The redemption of sinners from the 
consequences of the Fall is required by justice. The 
sinner, therefore, instead of extolling divine grace 
should celebrate divine justice ; instead of shouting, 
Grace! grace! he should shout. Justice! justice! The 
truth is, that a constitution of things by which the 
interposition of divine justice is required to prevent 
or remove the effects of divine injustice is, from the 
nature of the case, as inconceivable as it is impossible. 

220 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

The only relief to the Arminian from the pressure of 
this difficulty would lie in denying that men, in any 
sense, suflfer on account of Adam's sin, and that 
would throw him into collision with the doctrine of 
Scripture, the facts of experience and the results of 

Thirdly, If, apart from the provision of redemption, 
the constitution by which the race was involved in 
the consequences of Adam's sin would have been in- 
trinsically unjust, the redemptive provision accom- 
panying it could not possibly relieve that intrinsic 
injustice. It would inhere in the very nature of such 
a constitution. The redemption provided might de- 
liver men from its evil results, but it could not deliver 
God from the charge of having instituted an arrange- 
ment in itself unjust. It would relieve the disaster, 
but leave the original wrong untouched. The conse- 
quence of the injustice would be removed, but the in- 
justice would abide. No fact can be undone. To state 
the case differently: if a federal constitution by which 
Adam's descendants became responsible for his sin 
would have been in itself unjust, the co-ordination 
with it of a redeeming purpose could not cancel the 
injustice, for that purpose could only take effect after 
the wrong had been inflicted. Men must have suf- 
fered before they could be actually redeemed. If not, 
from what would they be redeemed ? The suffering, 
consequently, must while it lasts be conceived as hav- 
ing been unjustly imposed. 

Fourthly, If it was intended, in order to avoid in- 
justice, that the provision of redemption should de- 
liver men from the sufferings entailed upon them by 
Adam's fall, then it was necessary, in order to the 

Objection from Divine Justice. 22 1 

attainiiieiit of the end contemplated, that all those 
snfferings shonld be removed. For, if any part of 
them remained, to that extent the injnstice would 
not be repaired. And this difficulty weighs especi- 
ally upon those who hold that those sufferings are 
penal. If it be replied, as replied it must be, that 
the redemptive provision was not designed to operate 
ipso facto in the removal of suffering, but that such 
removal is conditioned upon the acceptance of the 
offer of redemption, and that ability is given to men 
to accept the offer, the difficulty is not discharged. 
For, in the first place, infants can neither understand 
nor accept the offer; yet they suffer. The injustice 
is not removed from them. It would be idle to say 
that they suffer disciplinarily, for, as infants, they are 
unsusceptible of discipline. They cannot perceive 
the ends of suffering. And further, disciplinary suf- 
fering pre-supposes penal. It cannot be justly im- 
posed upon beings who were not, in the first instance, 
either consciously or putatively guilty. In the 
second place, the removal of injustice inflicted upon- 
adults cannot, consistently with justice, be condi- 
tioned upon their voluntary acceptance of an offer to 
remove it. Justice requires the unconditional un- 
doing of injustice which has been done. This diffi- 
culty becomes all the more aggravated when it is 
considered that the acceptance of the redeeming 
provision is opposed by the corrupt nature derived 
from the Fall. Either God can remove the conse- 
quences of the Fall, or he cannot. If he can and does 
not, he perpetuates the injustice which he is supposed 
to have inflicted. If he cannot, how did the pro- 
vision of redemption come to be conceived in his 

222 Calvinism and Evangelical Armijiianism. 

mind as calculated to relieve the intrinsic injustice 
of the federal constitution? He would in devising it 
have known that he could not make it effectual to 
relieve that injustice. If it be said, that he cannot, 
in accordance with the nature he bestowed upon man, 
act inconsistently with man's free will, the answer is, 
that when he determined to provide redemption he 
must have foreseen that limitation upon its applica- 
bility as a remedy, and therefore his inability fully to 
remove the inherent injustice of the federal constitu- 
tion. In the third place, even the offer of redemption 
is not made actually to every man. Some have not 
the opportunity furnished them of accepting it. 
Myriads of the heathen never heard of it. How then 
does the provision of redemption remove the injustice 
involved in the sufferings induced upon them by the 
Fall? If it be urged, that the atonement of Christ 
indirectly benefits them, without their knowledge of 
it, the reply is obvious, that their sufferings continue. 
They are not benefited to the extent of their removal. 
Nor can it be pleaded that like adults in Christian 
lands they bind their sufferings upon themselves by 
rejecting the tendered remedy. For how can they 
reject a remedy which was never proffered them ? To 
say that they have some knowledge of the gospel 
through tradition from the patriarchal, or any other, 
era, is but to trifle with a solemn subject. If finally 
it be said, that the heathen in relation to the gospel 
scheme are in a condition similar to that of infants, 
that will not answer, for we have seen that the suffer- 
ings of infants cannot be adjusted to the theory that 
the provision of redemption checked the intrinsic 
injustice of the Adamic constitution. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 223 

Under the conviction that it is one of the key- 
positions of the Evangelical Arniinian scheme, I have 
thus criticised with some minuteness the view, that 
the divine purpose to provide redemption for man- 
kind, which was co-ordinate with the constitution 
implicating them in the judicial consequences of their 
first father's sin, prevented the injustice otherwise 
chargeable upon that constitution. 

(2.) The second way, in which Evangelical Armin- 
ians attempt to vindicate the justice of God in view 
of the hereditary guilt and corruption of all men, is 
to be found in their doctrine concernino: the nature 
of the relation sustained by the first man to the race. 
That doctrine is: that God made a covenant with 
Adam as a parental l>ead representing his posterity, 
by virtue of which they, having been in his loins, are 
justly subjected to the consequences of his sin. They 
were in him as children are in a father ; one with 
him because of, and simply because of, the parental 
and filial relation. As they w:ere thus — to use Wes- 
ley's words — "contained in Adam," it followed that 
when he sinned the consequences of his fatal act were 
deserved by them. In support of this view they ap- 
peal to the analogy of providence. Children, without 
their conscious agency, are involved in the disastrous 
consequences of their parents' sins. They suflfer be- 
cause their fathers were criminals ; and to object, on 
the ground of injustice, to the primal constitution 
through which all men experience the injurious re- 
sults of their first father's fall into sin is to impeach 
the justice of God in his ordinary and acknowledged 
dealings with men. 

It is true that some Arniinian theologians affirm 

224 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

that Adam was "a public person and a legal repre- 
sentative;'" and tliat this language taken by itself 
would imply that they do not regard him as having 
been simply a parental head. But, two considera- 
tions clearly show that notwithstanding these terms 
by which they appear to qualify the merely parental 
headship of the first man, merely parental headship 
is wdiat they really hold. The first is their unwilling- 
ness to admit that the race had a proper probation in 
Adam which was closed by his fall into sin. The 
second is their denial that the posterity of Adam in 
any sense committed his first sin and are on that ac- 
count chargeable with its guilt. These facts prove 
that they do not maintain, but on the contrary deny, 
the strictly representative character of the first man. 
For, if he had been not only a parental head and 
trustee, but over and beyond that a legal representa- 
tive, of the race, they would have had their probation 
in him, and must, in accordance wnth the essential 
principle of representation, be considered as having 
legally and constructively performed his act in com- 
mitting the first sin and as being therefore chargeable 
with its guilt. We shall get a precise conception of 
the Evangelical Arminian doctrine concerning the 
headship of Adam by comparing it with the Calvin- 
istic. The Evangelical Arminian holds that when 
God created Adam a parental head, he in the same 
act and by virtue of it created him a federal head. In 
becoming the first father, Adam, of necessity, became 
the representative, of mankind. Only as he was, 
and because he was, father was he representative. 
The Calvinist holds that after God had created Adam 

'Watson, Theo. Inst., vol. ii. pp. 52, 53. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 225 

a parental head he, by a free determination of his 
will, appointed him a federal head and legal represen- 
tative, and then entered into a covenant of life with 
him, suspending justification for himself and his pos- 
terity as his constituents upon his perfect obedience 
during a limited time of trial. In the one case he 
was created a federal head because he was created a 
parental head, the representative relation being no 
more than is involved in the parental. In the other, 
he was not created a federal head and representative, 
but, by a free act from wdiich his IMaker might have 
abstained, was appointed and constituted the bearer 
of that transcendently responsible office. It is plain 
that, according to the Evangelical Arminian theology, 
Adam was in no other sense a federal head and legal 
representative than as he was the parental head of the 
human race. The relation he sustained was that of 
mere parental headship with such responsibilities and 
consequences as it naturally involves. Accordingly, 
I shall endeavor to show that such a relation will not 
bear the strain that is put upon it. 

First, Evangelical Arminian theologians them- 
selves, as we have seen, 'explicitly acknowledge the 
fact that the visitation upon the race of the bitter 
consequences of Adam's sin, merely in virtue of their 
relation to him as a parental head, cannot be recon- 
ciled with our conceptions of the divine justice. In 
itself considered, such a constitution would have been 
unjust. In order to its having been adopted as a part 
of the divine scheme of government it was necessary 
that its intrinsic injustice should be destroyed by an 
extrinsic connection with a purpose of redemption in 
consequence of which the damage done by the Fall 

226 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

should be amply repaired. Taken by itself, then, the 
parental headship of Adam, as foreknown to issue in 
the fall of the race, is confessed by Evangelical Arniin- 
ians themselves to be incapable of being hrirmonized 
with justice. But it has in these remarks been al- 
ready shown that its connection with a redeeming 
purpose does not relieve this difficulty. It is not vin- 
dicated from the charge of inherent injustice by its 
association with the purpose of God to provide re- 
demption. If, therefore, according to the admission of 
its advocates, the constitution by which Adam was 
made the parental head of the race was intrinsically 
unjust, it is impossible by an appeal to it to establish 
the justice of God in inflicting the results of his sin 
upon them. The difficulty raised by our intuition of 
justice instead of being met is aggravated. A pro- 
cedure confessed to have been unjust is vindicated by an 
unjust constitution in which it originated! Arminians 
themselves being judges, the mere parental headship 
of Adam will not carry the weight imposed upon it. 

Secondly, It is one of the curious inconsistencies of 
Evangelical Arminian divines that, having acknowl- 
edged the injustice of the constitution involving the 
race in responsibility for the sin of Adam their par- 
ental head conceived apart from the purpose of God 
to redeem them, they proceed to illustrate the justice 
of that constitution by citing the analogous case of 
the ordinary parental relation and its consequences 
upon children. They affirm that it is at one and the 
same time intrinsically unjust and intrinsically just. 
The soundest exponents of the Evangelical Arminian 
system maintain that the sufferings entailed upon 
Adam's posterity by his sin are in their nature penal. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 227 

They are not mere calamities; they are_^punishments. 
Temporal death, spiritual death, liability to eternal 
(^eath,— these, they justly contend, are not to be re- 
garded as simply our misfortune. They are in some 
sense the results of our own fault— we have, in some 
way, deserved them. The Pelagianizing utterances 
of such writers as Miner Raymond, who scouts this 
view, cannot by a candid critic be considered as rep- 
resentative of Evangelical Arminianism even in its 
present attitude. If they are, it is not the system of 
Wesley, Fletcher and Watson: it is far gone from 
that system. 

Now, it is a fundamental principle of God's moral 
government that none but the guilty are held liable 
to punishment. Before one can be justly punished it 
must be proved that he did some wrong act, or is the 
culpable author of some wrong disposition inherent 
in him. Before he can share another's punishment, 
he must have shared the other's fault: he must, in 
some sense, be justly held as particeps criminis. 
This is a principle of human law, and in that regard 
it reflects the divine. In what sense, then, are chil- 
dren now the sharers of their parents' acts? They 
are different persons from them, and therefore their 
personality cannot be considered as merged into that 
of their parents. The acts on account of which they 
suffer may have been committed before they were 
born. They could not therefore have consciously 
joined in their performance. Their parents are not, 
strictly speaking, their legal representatives, so that 
their acts, although not consciously and subjectively, 
would yet be legally, representatively, putatively, the 
acts of^ their children. These suppositions exhaust 

228 Calinnisni and EvauQ-cIical Anninianism 


the possibilities in the case, and as neither of them is 
true, it follows that children do not share the guilt of 
their parents, and therefore cannot be justly punished 
for it. They suffer on account of the evil deeds of 
their parents. That fact is announced in the Deca- 
logue, and abundantly established by the ordinary 
course of providence; and in view of it the respon- 
sibilities of parents are seen to be nothing less 
than tremendous. But these sufferings are not pun- 
ishments; they are calamities, except in cases in 
which the children imitate the wickedness of their 
parents, and so by their own conscious and voluntary 
acts make their parents' guilt their own. When they 
incur the guilt they deserve the punishment. Until 
then their sufferings are not penal. The sufferings 
of an infant in its cradle cannot be regarded as penal 
inflictions for the sins of its immediate parents. 

This important distinction between punishment 
and calamity is distinctly asserted by God himself 
in his Word. He commanded Moses to embody this 
provision in his code : "The fathers shall not be put 
to death for the children ; neither shall the children 
be put to death for the fathers : every man shall be 
put to death for his own sin."^ Accordingly, we are 
told that when Amaziah, the son of Joash, king of 
Judah ascended the throne, he put to death the men 
who had murdered his father, but remembering the 
divine law he did not inflict the same doom upon 
their children. The record is as follows: "And it 
came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed 
in his hand, that he slew his servants which had 
slain the kimr his father. But the children of the 

Deut. xxiv. i6. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 229 

murderers he slew not : according to that which is 
written in the book of the law of IMoses, wherein the 
Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be 
pnt to death for the children, nor the children be put 
to death for the fathers : but every man shall be pnt 
to death for his own sin." ^ The same x^rinciple of 
procedure is affirmed in the eighteenth chapter of 
Ezekiel : "What mean ye, that ye use this proverb 
concerning the land of Israel, saying. The fathers 
have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are 
set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall 
not have occasion any more to use this proverb in 
Israel. Behold, all souls are mine ; as the soul of 
the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the 
soul that sinneth, it shall die." If a righteous man, 
continues the Lord by the mouth of the prophet, 
beget a son who doeth wickedly, the son shall bear 
his^ own iniquity ; he shall surely die. If a wicked 
man have a son who doeth righteously, he shall not 
bear the iniquity of his father ; he sliall surely live. 
"Yet ye say. The way of the Lord is not equal. 
Hear now, O house of Israel : Is not my way equal? 
Are not your ways unequal?" Here the equity of 
the divine administration is asserted because it pro- 
ceeds upon the principle that every man is rewarded 
or punished for his own conduct. No one suffers 
penally because of his father's sins. His teeth are 
not set on edge because his father ate sour grapes, 
but thev are set on edge because he himself has eaten 
sour grapes. 

The conclusion from this argument is that, if it be 
a principle of the divine government that children 

1 2 Kiui^s xiv. 5, 6. 

230 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

are not dealt with retributively and punitively for the 
sins of- their parents, it follows that Adam's children 
could not be justly punished for his sin, on the sup- 
position that he was merely their parental head. 
Either, then, we must give up the alleged analogy 
between Adam's relation to his posterity and that of 
ordinary parents to their children, or, maintaining 
that analogy, we must charge God with an unjust 
deviation from the principles of his moral govern- 
ment in punishing Adam's children, for the sin of 
one wdio was simply a parental head. No one who 
fears God can hesitate as to the choice between these 
alternatives. He is shut up to the conclusion that as 
Adam's children are punished for his sin, he could 
not have been merely a parental head. He must have 
sustained to them another and different relation. Of 
course this argument will have no force with one who 
adheres to the analogy and at the same time denies 
the penal character of men's inherited sufferings. 
But as the Evangelical Arminian of the old school is 
not a Pelagian, it has a powerful bearing upon his 

Let it be distinctly understood that in contending 
against the view that children are punitively dealt 
with for the sins of their parents, it is not intended 
to say that their sufferings are in no sense penal. It 
is not conceivable that under a perfectly just govern- 
ment any moral agent could suffer unless his suffering 
be in the first instance, in some sense, penal. Men 
are not punished for the sins of their immediate pa- 
jrents, how much soever they may suffer for them; but 
Ithey are punished for the sin of Adam, and hence the 
I conclusion is that he must liave been more than a 

Objection from Divine Justice, 231 

father. i\s to those Anninian writers who boldly 
take the infidel position that no man is pnnished for 
the sin of Adam, it is enough to press the question, 
How, then, under the government of a just God are 
men born to suffering at all ? How is it that infants 
suffer? Even if the ground be taken that those in- 
fants who are regenerated and die in infancy are in 
some inexplicable way disciplined through suffering 
for glor>', wliat becomes of the case of those who live 
to adult age, and die unregenerate, who suffer in in- 
fancy, suffer in mature age and suffer in hell forever? 
Were their sufferings in infancy disciplinary ? To say 
tliat suffering is natural, that is, that it is the legiti- 
mate result of an original, natural constitution, is to 
impeach alike the justice and the benevolence of God. 
The sufferings of all men partake of a penal charac- 
ter until they are by grace made spiritual children of 
God and justified through the merits of the sinner's 
atoning Substitute. Punishment then is changed 
into discipline — the Judge gives way to the Father. 
But as the argument is not with Pelagians and skep- 
tics, but with those who profess to be evangelical, no 
more needs to be said upon this particular point. 

Thirdly, The' theory that Adam was simply a 
parental head of mankind, only responsible for such 
consequences in regard to them as that relation 
carries with it, makes it necessary to hold that guilt 
and corruption were derived from him to them by 
propagation through the generative channel. The 
principle of derivation is that like begets like. There 
are insuperable difficulties in the way of that doctrine. 
In tlie first place, it is impossible to prove that legal 
guilt and moral qualities are transmitted by propaga- 

232 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

tion from father to son. The theory involves a doc- 
trine which is unsusceptible of proof. It is conse- 
quently an inadequate account of the relation between 
the leo^al o-niltiness and moral state of Adam's de- 
scendants on the one hand and his sinful act on the 
other. In the second place, if the supposition of 
propagation be admitted, no proof of its justice can 
be furnished. How was it grounded? Why did 
Adam propagate a guilty and corrupt progeny? Are 
his children's teeth set on edge, because he as their 
father ate sour grapes? The soul that sinneth, it 
shall die. But, according to Arminians, infants 
could not have committed Adam's sinful act, and 
they cannot consciously sin. Still, they are admitted 
to be at birth, by virtue of their relation to their first 
father, guilty and depraved, and they actually suffer 
and die. Their teeth are set on ^^%^^ but they did 
not eat sour grapes. In the third place, if the theory 
of propagation be true, how comes it to pass that all 
Adam's sins have not entailed their baleful conse- 
quences upon his posterity? It is admitted that they 
are affected by only his first sin. How is this limita- 
tion to be accounted for? Will it, with Thomas 
Aquinas, be said that only the first sin corrupts the 
nature, and on the contrary all subsequent sins of 
Adam and of all his posterity only the person ?^ This 
would be an appeal to the theory of Numerical Iden- 
tity of nature in Adam and his descendants, and tliat 
theory the Evangelical Arminian rejects ; and besides 
he concedes the personal responsibility of men for 
Adam's fall. That explanation, therefore, will not 

^Summa, ii., i. qu. 81, art. 2, as quoted by Miiller, Ouis. Dod. 
Sin, ^T>1. ii., p. 372, 

Objection from Divine Justice. 233 

answer. Will it be said, that, although the fallen 
nature is propagated and without special divine 
action would carry with it the consequences of other 
sins of Adam than the first, it pleased God to limit 
the imputation of guilt to the first sin? The reply 
would be, that the supposition, upon the mere theory 
of propagation, is inadmissible. For, wherever there 
is sin, it involves guilt, and the non-imputation of 
the guilt would, under a just government, be impos- 
sible, without atonement made for it after it had been 
incurred. Upon this theory, it would be as illegiti- 
mate to suppose the non-imputation of the guilt of 
other sins than the first to the propagated guilty and 
corrupt nature, as to suppose the non-imputation of the 
guilt of other sins than his first to Adam personally. 
Will it be said, that the limitation of imputed guilt to 
the first sin is to be referred to the federal constitution ? 
The answer would be, that the explanation would be 
borrowed from a theory of strictly legal representa- 
tion, different from and superadded to parental re- 
presentation, which is rejected by the Evangelical 
Arminian. This appeal would therefore be to him 
incompetent In the fourth place, if the theory of 
propagation were true it would follow that Adam 
when reijenerated would have beootten res^enerate 
children. But such a position is not maintained 
even by its advocates. If in order to remove this 
difficulty the ground be taken that the nature is pro- 
pagated according to the original type and that is 
sinful, the reply is, as Dr. Thorn well has suggested, 
that the original type, that is, in the first instance, 
was holy, and a holy nature ought therefore to be 

234 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

Fourthly, The theory of the mere parental headship 
of Adam cannot be adjusted to the analogy, clearly 
taught in Scripture, between the first Adam and the 
second. The first is declared to have been a figure or 
t\'pe of the second; "not that he was," as John Owen 
profoundly observes, "an instituted type ^ ordained for 
that only end and purpose, but only that in what he 
was, and what he did, with what followed thereupon, 
there was a resemblance between him and Jesus 
Christ."^ The meaning is that the principle upon 
which the first Adam stood related to his posterity is 
the same with that which grounded the relation of the 
second to his seed, — they both acted in accordance 
with the principle of representation. As condemnation 
passed upon Adam's posterity on account of his disobe- 
dience, so justification passed upon Christ's posterity 
on account of his obedience. This is clear, and it is 
admitted by both parties to this question. Now, if 
condemnation came upon Adam's seed because he as 
their father sinned, it would follow that justification 
comes upon Christ's seed because he as their father 
obeyed. The principle must be the same in both 
cases, or the analogy is destroyed. Was it parental 
headship which in Adam's case grounded the justice 
of condemnation? So must it be parental headship 
which in Christ's case grounds the justice of justifica- 
tion. But neither Calvinist nor Arminian takes that 
view of justification. Both hold that while it is true 
that Christ's people are born of him by his Spirit, and 
so holiness is communicated to them, it is also true 
that justification is derived from him in another way. 
He did not as a merely parental head secure justifica- 
^ WorJzs, Goold's Ed., vol. lo, p. 353. 

Objection from Divine Justice. 235 

tion, but as a representative and substitute in law. 
But if Christ was, strictly speaking, a legal represen- 
tative and not merely a parental head, so must Adam 
have been, or the analogy between them breaks down. 

Further, if it be contended — as it is by Watson — 
that as Adam was a parental head, so Christ is a spir- 
itual head— as the former was a natural parent, so the 
latter is a spiritual parent, it would follow from the 
analogy that justification can only flow from Christ to 
his spiritual children. And as Evangelical Arminians 
do not hold that all men are regenerate and therefore 
Christ's spiritual children, justification could not have 
been secured for all men. They are thus reduced to 
self-contradiction. If they deny that all men are thq 
spiritual children of Christ, they deny that jnstifica-f 
tion was secured for all men, and thus admit the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine of particular atonement. If they 
affirm that all men are the spiritual children of Christ, 
just as all men are naturally the children of Adam, 
they deny their own doctrine of the necessity of the 
new birth, their own admission that all men are not 
actually born again, and the indubitable testimony of 
Scripture. To say that the heathen are all regener- 
ate is to gainsay the Bible and fact alike. It is clear 
that the Arminian doctrine of the parental headship 
of Adam will not square with the facts of Christ's 
case, and therefore cannot be adjusted to the scrip- 
tural account of the analogy between the first and the 
second Adam. 

Fifthly, A decisive consideration is, that upon the 
Evangelical Arminian theory neither Adam nor his 
descendants could ever have been justified. It is not 
here intended to dcnv that if God had been pleased 

236 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

to enter into a covenant with Adam as an individual, 
apart from a representative relation to his posterity, 
in which he promised him life upon condition of per- 
fect obedience for a limited time of trial, he might 
have attained to justification. Nor is it impossible 
to suppose that God may, had he pleased, have entered 
into a similar covenant with each individual of his 
posterity, in which case each would have stood upon 
his own foot and have had the opportunity of secur- 
ing justification. On either of these suppositions, 
the principle of representation would have been ex- 
cluded, and that of individual probation employed. 
God was not pleased to adopt this mode of dealing 
with Adam or his descendants. He collected all the 
'individuals of the race into unity upon the first man 
jappointed as their federal head and legal represent- 
jative, embraced them with him in a common proba- 
|tion, and promised to him and to them in him justifi- 
cation upon condition of his perfect obedience for a 
specified and definite period. If it be supposed that 
neither of these methods of procedure was employed 
in relation to the first man and his descendants, the 
impossibility of justification would be conceded. If 
a special covenant arrangement did not limit the time 
of obedience, the naked, unmodified demand of mere 
law would have been in force. The consequence 
would necessarily have resulted, that no point in the 
endless existence of the subject of law could have 
been reached at which he could have appeared before 
God saying, I have finished the obedience assig-ned 
me and ask for my reward. The answer to such a 
claim, were it supposable, would inevitably be. Thou 
hast an immortality of obedience yet before thee, 

Objection f^oj.'i Divi)ic Justice. 237 

with the possibility of a fall. Ml justification, in tlie 
proper, scriptural sense of the term, can be conceived 
as possible except upon the ground of a completed 
obedience ; and as no obedience can be completed un- 
less there be a definite limitation of the time in which 
it is to be offered, a theory which throws out of ac- 
count such limitation fails to provide for the possi- 
bility of justification. Now the Evangelical Arminiau 
theory is open to this fatal objection. It makes no 
mention of a limitation of the time of obedience even 
in regard to Adam personally considered, and it de- 
nies that his' descendants had a strict, legal probation 
in him. Suppose then — and the supposition is legiti- 
mated by the doctrine of a mere permission of the 
Fall — that Adam had stood in integrity and were 
standing in integrity now, how could he have been 
justified? Perpetual obedience with its accompanying- 
contingency of fall would be his duty still as it was 
his duty at first. Of course, too, there would be no 
justification of his posterity in an unjustified head. 
To say that his righteousness, although incomplete 
and defectible, might be imputed to them, or accrue 
to their benefit, would be very far froni saying that 
they would be justified on its account. As it could 
not ground his justification, it could not theirs. 

This consideration is specially illuminated in the 
light of the scriptural analogy between Christ and 
Adam. The time of Christ's obedience was limited. 
He declared that he had twelve hours in which to 
walk and that he must work the works of him that 
sent him while it was day: the night was coming in 
which no man could work. Accordingly when he 
had completed his obedience, l.e triumphantly ex- 

238 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism, 

claimed amidst his dying agonies, "It is finished." 
Not only, therefore, was he jnstified from the volun- 
tarily assumed and imputed guilt of his people's in- 
iquities which were laid upon him, but his finished 
righteousness was capable of being imputed to his 
seed and of constituting the ground of their justifica- 
tion. It is too obvious to need pressing that if iVdam's 
case was parallel to that of Christ, the time of his 
probationary obedience must have been limited to 
condition the possibility of his justification and that 
of his seed. The Evangelical Arminian theory con- 
tains no such element and therefore signally breaks 

The ways, in which Evangelical Arminian theolo- 
gians endeavor to vindicate God's justice in the con- 
stitution by virtue of which the consequences of 
Adam's first sin are entailed upon his race, have thus 
been subjected to examination and their insufficiency 
has been exhibited. 

The question now is, What, according to the Cal- 
vinistic conception, is the scriptural method of recon- 
ciling the implication of the race in the consequences 
of Adam's first sin with the justice of God ? And let 
it be borne in mind that this question is subordinate 
to the ultimate one which is under consideration — 
namely, whether the Calvinistic doctrines of election 
and reprobation are, as charged, inconsistent with the 
divine justice. 

Both parties to the question in hand admit the ex- 
istence of an Adamic covenant: a federal transaction 
of some sort is conceded. The Calvinistic doctrine 
involves these elements: That, under the Covenant 
of Works, God appointed Adam a legal representative 

Objection from Divine Justice. 239 

of his posterity ; that lie and they were one in law ; 
that his acts were legally and representatively their 
acts, on the principle that what one does by a repre- 
sentative he himself does; that justification, that is, 
confirmation in holiness and happiness, was promised 
to Adam and his posterity on condition of his perfect 
obedience for a limited time, and death was threatened 
in the event of disobedience; and that as a conse- 
quence of all this mankind had their legal probation 
in Adam, so that had he stood and been justified they 
would in him have stood and been justified, and as he 
fell and was condemned they in him fell and were 
condemned. In support of this doctrine the follow- 
ing considerations are submitted : 

First, The fact being admitted by Evangelical Ar- 
tninians of a covenant with Adam which included his 
posterity, so that they are involved in the consequences 
pertaining to his first sin, it follows that if, as has 
been shown, parental headship implying only such 
federal responsibilities as it is conceived to carry with 
it naturally and necessarily was not, and could not 
consistently with justice have been, the relation be- 
tween the first man and his descendants which 
grounded their judicial condemnation and penal suf- 
ferings, that relation must have been one subsisting 
between him as a strictly legal representative and 
them as his legal constituents. This is the only other 
alternative which is admissible. The conceded fed- 
eral principle rules out the theory of a numerical 
identity between Adam and his posterity. Upon that 
theory a federal relation would have been a superfluity. 
As each man came into individual existence he would 
be chargeable not with Adam's sin imputed to him, 

240 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

but with a sin subjectively and tlierefore strictly and 
properly his own. This would be to upset the paral- 
lelism asserted by Paul between Adam and Christ. As 
numerical identity is grounded in nature, the analogy 
would require the identity of all men w-ith Christ, as 
well as with Adam. Human nature obeyed in Christ 
as it disobeyed in Adam. As the sin of the nature is 
imputed to it on the one hand, so on the other would 
be its righteousness. As all men are thus justly con- 
demned, all men would thus with equal justice be 
justified. But it is absurd to say that human nature, 
that is, all men, subjectively wrought righteousness 
in Christ; and it would be almost as absurd to say 
that his seed subjectively obeyed in him. It is plain 
that the righteousness of Christ is imputed upon a 
totally different principle. So, the analogy holding, 
must the sin of Adam. It is evident that the theory 
of numerical identity is inconsistent with the federal 
principle. The same is true of the hypothesis of an 
ante-mundane existence in which every human being 
fell from an estate of holiness by his own individual 
sin. If we adopt the supposition of a covenant be- 
tween God and Adam, we w^ould seem to be shut up 
to an election between the doctrine of parental head- 
ship and that of strict legal representation. 

Secondly, The analogy between Christ and Adam 
proves that our first parent must have been the legal 
representative of his seed. The relation which he 
sustained to his posterity, grounding their implication 
in his act, must, as to the principle involved, have 
been like that which Christ bears to his seed; other- 
wise the analogy would be destroyed. Now, was 
Christ a legal representative of his people? 

Objection from Divine Justice. 241 

The animals which were sacrificed under the old 
dispensation were legal substitutes for the^ guilty 
persons for whom they were offered, that is, they 
legally represented the worshippers who presented 
them. They typified Christ the Lamb of God who 
was offered a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice for sin- 
ners. It is certainly the representative and not the 
parental relation which here comes into view. In 
Galatians Paul declares: "Christ hath redeemed us 
from the curse of the law, beingniade a curse for us. " ' 
In 2 Corinthians he enounces the same great truth of 
legal substitution: "He hath made him who knew 
no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the 
righteousness of God in him."' Peter clearly sets 
forth the same fact: " He bore our sins in his own 
body on the tree." It is needless to urge the consid- 
eration that these apostolic statements could not have 
been true of Christ as a parental head, but are true of 
him as a legal representative. It is indeed admitted 
that they hold good of him as a legal substitute; but 
there is no difference in principle between a substitute 
and a representative. In Galatians Paul says: "I 
am crucified with Christ." "^ The chief sense in which 
these words are to be taken is the representative. He 
discusses, in that passage, the doctrine of justification 
and not of sanctification. Hence he could not have 
onlv meant to say, I deny myself with Christ. It is 
true that he who has died federally and representa- 
tively with Christ to the guilt of sin will so live with 
him as to die more and more to its power, and Paul 
asserts that truth; but in the words cited, if regard be 
had to the connection in whi ch they are used, primary 

Mii. 13. 2^'. 21. ''ii. 20. 


242 Calvinism and Evangelical Aiminianisni. 

reference is made by the apostle to tlie representative 
relation. In 2 Corinthians the same apostle says : 
"The love of Christ constraineth ns; becanse we thus 
judge, that if one died for all, then all died;'" for 
that is the true and now the generally admittted ren- 
derinof of the words translated, " then were all dead." 
How could all die in one except representatively? 
Myriads of believers died before, and myriads were 
not born until after, Christ died. The great fact is 
here affirmed that the death of a representative is 
legally and constructively the death of those whom he 
represented. Those, therefore, who thus died with 
Christ died under the sentence of a condemning law, 
that is, died penally, and so cannot justly die again in 
that way; and having so died, the legal difficulties 
which lay in the path of acceptable obedience to God 
are removed, and the motives to a life of holiness are 
impressively enforced. Paul says again: "If ye be 
risen with Christ." ^ If believers died representatively 
with Christ, they rose representatively with him. 
There is also a spiritual resurrection, but there was a 
federal, as there will be a bodily. And if they died 
and rose representatively with him, they were repre- 
sentatively justified with him, when God the Father 
having raised him from the dead, on the ground of 
distributive justice, acquitted him of all imputed guilt, 
formally approved his righteousness, and published to 
the universe his desert of the reward stipulated by the 
covenant — the everlasting life of his seed. 

But if Christ was the legal representative of his 
seed, so must Adam have been of his. The passage 
which settles that is the one in the fifth chapter of 

W. 14. '^ Col. iii. I. 

Ohjcclion J'ro/n Diinnc Justice. 243 

Romans, from the twelfth verse to the end. Tliere 
the relation of the disobedience of Adam to the con- 
demnation and death of his posterity is declared to 
be analogous to that of the obedience of Christ to the 
justification and life of his seed. But Christ in ren- 
dering obedience to the divine law acted as a legal 
representative ; so consequently must Adam in com- 
mitting his act of disobedience. It follows, that, if 
Adam had stood during his time of trial and been 
justified, all his posterity would have been represent- 
atively justified in him — that is, they would by the 
divine sentence have been adjudged to confirmation 
in holiness and happiness. In that case his right- 
eousness would have been imputed to his descendants, 
just as Christ's righteousness is now imputed to his 
people. Natural birth would have designated the 
parties upon whom his merit would have terminated, 
as now spiritual birth indicates the parties upon 
whom the merit of Christ takes effect. But Adam 
fell, and his guilt is imputed to his seed. Instead of 
attaining justification in him, they fell with him into 
condemnation. In these respects the cases of the first 
and second Adam are parallel. It is the principle of 
strict federal representation which stamps the charac- 
ter of each case. 

Thirdly, If we are at all warranted, touching this 
matter, in appealing to the ordinary course of provi- 
dence and the general judgment of men, we must 
resort not to the parental, but the representative, rela- 
tion. We never judge that a child is, strictly speak- 
ingr well-deservincr or ill-deservino- on account of his 
parents' acts. If his father has perpetrated a crime, 
while we may feel that his child justly suffers in con- 

244 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

sequence of it, we do not pronounce him culpable. 
As in no sense lie did the act, he is in no sense blame- 
worthy. If one have committed murder, shame and 
obloquy attach to his child, but who w^ould say that 
he was guilty of his father's crime? If he were he 
would deserve to be hanged. Such, however, is 
neither the judgment nor the custom of mankind. 
But if one be the representative, the attorney, the 
aeent, of another, the case is different. There is a 
legal identity between the two, so that the acts of one 
are in law the acts of the other. Such is the general 
iudo-ment of men. If there be anv force in these 
considerations, they would go to show that Adam's 
children are not culpable because as their father he 
sinned ; but if he were their legal agent and repre- 
sentative they must be regarded as blame-worthy for 
his sin. They did the act in him, not consciously and 
subjectively, but federally, legally, representatively. 

It may be objected to this representation of the 
great and critically important doctrine of inherited 
sin, that the parental relation is thrown out of account 
and treated as if possessed of no significance. To this 
it is replied: In the first place, it is admitted that the 
parental relation as involving the natural union be- 
tween Adam and his descendants grounds the propa- 
gation of the race as a species, with all its essential 
and inseparable qualities. The question, however, is 
a different one whether the transmission of non-essen- 
tial and separable qualities can be accounted for in 
accordance with this law. What is contended for is 
that even if that were conceded, the propagation of 
those qualities — that of sin, for example — would de- 
mand an antecedent solution in the principle of jus- 

Objection from Divine Justice. 245 

tice. Why sin should be transmitted from parent to 
child, entailing penal consequences, is a question 
which cannot be legitimately answered by appealing 
to a merely natural constitution. The deformity 
w^ould be a misfortune and not a crime. The nat- 
uralness of sin would as much destroy its punishable 
feature as- that of a misshapen body. The represen- 
tative relation must be invoked to account for the 
legal character of propagation, even if it be admitted 
tliat propagation is the channel of the transmission 
of sin. The whole difficulty is avoided by referring the 
hereditary character of sin to the great law of federal 
representation. In the second place, it is admitted 
that the parental relation grounded the propriety ot 
the superadded representative relation. It was fit 
that he who was appointed the federal trustee and 
legal representative of mankind, attended by the im- 
measurable responsibilities embraced in that office, 
should be their first father, possessed of all the tender 
affections which such a relation supposed. And it 
was fit that Adam as father should be the representa- 
tive, inasmuch as the tie of blood, the bond of race, 
supplied the principle upon which he and all his 
individual offspring could be collected into legal 
unity. The statement of the case which is in this 
discussion maintained is precisely this: the parental 
grounded the propriety of the representative relation, 
and the representative relation grounded the imputa- 
tion of guilt. 

It may also be objected that the doctrine here af- 
firmed is eccentric, for the reason that the term repre- 
sintative and its cognates are not found either in the 
Scriptures or in the Westminster Standards. This 

246 Calvijiisni and Evangelical Arminianism, 

objection cannot be offered by those divines of the 
Evangelical Arniinian school who themselves employ 
the phraseology which is dispnted. If it be presented 
by others of that school, the answer is, that there are 
terms of articulate importance used by themselves 
which are not found in the Scriptures ; for example 
the Trinity, Sufficient Grace, Prevenient Grace, and 
Universal Atonement. The objection, therefore, as 
an argument would prove too much and be conse- 
quently invalid. If the objection were urged by one 
belonging to the school of Calvinism, the reply would 
be : In the first place, there are terms employed by 
Calvinists which are not to be found in the Scriptures; 
for instance, Satisfaction to divine justice, the Right- 
eousness of Christ, the Imputed Righteousness of 
Christ, the Vicarious Obedience of Christ, Particular, 
or Definite, or Limited Atonement, Effectual Calling 
and the Perseverance of the Saints. Are the doc- 
trines signified by these terms not to be found in the 
Scriptures? If so, Calvinism would be blown to the 
winds. In the second place, the fact that the term 
representative^ as applied to i\dam, is not found in the 
Westminster Standards by no means proves that the 
doctrine of his representative character is not con- 
tained in them. He is expressly declared to have 
been a "public person" in the same sense in which 
Christ is said to be a "public person." Says the 
Larger Catechism : "The covenant being made with 
Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but 
for his posterity, all mankind, descending from him 
by ordinary generation, sinned in him and fell with 
him in that first transgression."^ Speaking of Christ 
^ Oues. 22. 

Objt'ctioji from Divine Justice. 247 

the same formulary says: "All which he did as a 
priblic person, tlie head of his church, for their justi- 
fication."^ Does tJiis mean that Christ was a repre- 
sentative? What Calvinist would deny ? In the same 
way it must be admitted that the Westminster divines 
held Adam to have been a representative. To this it 
must be added that the terms Particular Atonement 
and their synonyms are not found in the Westminster 
Standards. Is the doctrine not there? And it de- 
serves to be remarked that the term representative 
was not in common use at the time when the x\ssem- 
bly was in session, and hence probably its absence 
from the formularies composed by it. But it was 
sufficiently used by divines of the period to show that 
they regarded Adam as a representative. "The sin 
of Adam," observes Dr. John Owen, "was and is im- 
puted unto all his posterity . . . And the ground 
hereof is, that we stood all in the same covenant with 
him who was our head and representative therein."^ 
"Adam," says Thomas Watson, "being a repre- 
sentative person, he standing, we stood ; and he fall- 
ing, we fell."^ 

We come now, at last, to the question. Was the 
federal constitution, involving the application of the 
principle of legal representation to Adam and his 
posterity and implicating them in the judicial conse- 
quences of his first sin, inconsistent with the justice 
of God? 

The questions may be asked. Why, if the doctrines 
of election and reprobation have been proved to be 

^ Oues. 52, 

' Works, Goold's Ed., vol. 5, On JusHfication, p. 169. 

' Select Works, Robert Carter and Brothers, p. 98. 

248 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

revealed in tlie Scriptures, should the inquiry be 
considered in regard to their consistency or inconsis- 
tency with the perfections of God? And why, if the 
doctrine of federal representation is also delivered to 
us by the same sacred authority, should the attempt 
be made to show that it is not inconsistent with the 
divine justice. Everything that God, in his holy 
Word, declares he has done or will do must, of neces- 
sity, be consistent with his character; consequently 
these reasonings are gratuitous and suited to do more 
harm than good. We have the weighty opinion of 
Haldane, in his admirable commentary on the Epistle 
to the Romans, against this sort of argument in rela- 
tion to the subject now in hand. This, it is cheer- 
fully admitted, is eminently true and wise, on the 
supposition that a doctrine has been proved beyond 
reasonable doubt to be revealed in the Scriptures. 
The position of the Dogmatic Rationalist of the Wolf- 
ian type is utterly untenable, that doctrines conceded 
to be part of a supernatural revelation need to be for- 
tified by rational demonstration. It is enough that 
they are introduced with the indisputable authority 
of the preface, "Thus saith the Lord." But it merits 
consideration that the real question often is, as it is in 
this particular instance, whether the doctrines alleged 
to be revealed in the Scriptures are actually so re- 
vealed. There being a difference between pious and 
reverent men in their interpretation of the passages 
adduced as proofs, moral and rational considerations, 
drawn from the teachings of Scripture and the funda- 
mental laws of belief of the human mind, are thrown 
in on one side or the other to strengthen or weaken, 
not the divine statements, but the alle^red evidence 

Objection from Divine Justice. 249 

that the doctrines in question are derived from the 
word of inspiration. It is for this reason the present 
discussion has been allowed the range which it has 
taken; and if relief, however little, shall be given to 
any pious mind from doubt as to the divine authority 
of the doctrines it defends from attack, it will not be 
wholly vain. 

(i.) If God established the federal constitution by 
which Adam was appointed the legal representative 
of the race, it must be regarded as just; for whatever 
God does is necessarily just. This principle was af- 
firmed by the illustrious patriarch when pleading for 
Sodom: ''Shall not the judge of all the earth do 
right?" The same great principle is asserted by- Paul 
in the third chapter of Romans when replying to 
objections against gratuitous justification, and in the 
ninth chapter when answering cavils against sover- 
eign predestination. But the Scriptures reveal the 
fact of the federal constitution as one of divine ap- 
pointment. It w^as therefore not inconsistent with 
the justice of God. 

(2.) It is not difficult to prove that the federal con- 
stitution involving the principle of legal representa- 
tion was benevolent. The limitations assigned by a 
free determination of the divine will to a merely legal 
probation, — the limitation of the probation of all to 
that of one who was amply and richly furnished to 
stand the trial, one who from the nature of the case 
wa.s susceptible of responsibilities which in their ful- 
ness could attach to no other; the limitation of the 
time of obedience which conditioned the easy attain- 
ment of immortal holiness and bliss for every individ- 
ual of the race; and perhaps the limitation of the field 

2^o Calz'inisjn and Evans^elical Armiiiianism 


of temptation, — these limitations upon the trial of 
mankind, which otherwise under a naked economy of 
law would have beeu perpetual for every individual 
and shadowed forever by the dread contingency of a 
fall, were certainly the products of benevolence. 
But such a constitution would uot have been benevo- 
lent had it been unjust. Injustice done to the crea- 
tures of his power could not have consisted with the 
goodness of their Creator. It is not w^arrantable to 
affirm that at one and the same time he acted towards 
the human race benevolently and inconsistently with 
justice. On the other hand, if the representative ar- 
rangement had beeu inconsistent with justice it could 
not have been consistent with benevolence. Of 
necessity the attributes of God must be perfectly har- 
monious wuth each other both in their intrinsic nature 
and in their actual exercise. If then the federal 
economy was benevolent, it could not have been incon- 
sistent with justice. 

(3.) It may be urged that it was arbitrary and there- 
fore was not grounded in justice. To this it is re- 
plied, that if it can be showui to have been dictated 
by wisdom and benevolence it cannot be proved to 
have been arbitrary; for that is arbitrary which is 
wanton and is founded upon no sufficient reason. It 
cannot be evinced that the federal ordination was the 
result of God's naked will proceeding without any 
regard to rational considerations. It cannot,- there- 
fore, be proved to have been inconsistent with justice 
because it wms arbitrary. 

(4.) The attempt has been made to convict it of in- 
compatibility with justice, because mankind, who, it 
is alleged, were represented in Adam and bound by 

Objection from Diz'inc Justice. 251 

his act, had no voice, no siifTrage, in the adoption of 
that measure of government by wliich the principle 
of representation \vas applied to their case: it was im- 
posed upon them without their choice, and yet their 
everlastino- destinies mioht have been decided bv it. 
First, It cannot be proved, though this be true, that 
the application of the principle of representation to 
the race by their divine Maker and Ruler was intrin- 
sically unjust. We are incompetent judges of the 
whole case. God is infinitely wiser than we. It 
would be supremely rash and arrogant in us to under- 
take to decide upon what principles he should choose 
to conduct his moral government. It is at least sup- 
posable that he saw that it would be as fair to men to 
deal with them collected into moral unity in the per- 
son of a fully qualified representative, as to treat each 
individual as responsible only for his own subjective 
and conscious agency. It does not matter to sa}' that 
when God constituted the first man a representative 
of his race he foreknew that he would fall and drag 
down his descendants with him into a common ruin; 
for had this measure not been adopted, God might 
have foreseen that every individual of the race would 
fall for himself, and in that case the advantages of the 
representative relation would be absent. So that at 
last it comes to this: Why did God create man at all 
if he foreknew that he would sin ? And to that ques- 
tion as the limited human intelligence has never yet 
furnished a satisfactory answer, so it is likely that in 
the present sphere of thought it never will. It is 
enough to know that it is God who has done it. Wliat- 
ever he does must be just and wise and right. 

252 Cahiiiism and Evangelical Anninianism, 

Secondly, God is infinitely benevolent. The appli- 
cation to the race of the principle of representation 
was therefore consistent with benevolence. It was 
applied to man while in innocence. It was no judi- 
cial infliction. There was no reason growing- out of 
man's relation to God which could have occasioned 
harshness or rigor on his Maker's part. If he loved 
man at his creation, it is impossible to conceive that 
he would have chosen any mode of procedure which 
would have prejudiced his interests or borne hardly 
upon his destiny. Indeed it is impossible to say, with- 
out blasphemy, that God can treat any of his crea- 
tures inequitably. 

Thirdly, To take the ground that the application to 
the race of the representative principle would have 
been unjust because they had no suffrage in its adop- 
tion, is to maintain that the subjects of God's govern- 
ment have a right to take part in its administration. 
This is absurdly to press the analogy of human gov- 
ernment. The people are not sovereign in the divine 
administration. They are in no sense factors in the 
government. They do not elect the ruler. If they 
did, they would be supposed to elect God, before he 
could have the right to rule them. The right of God 
to rule is absolute and resides in himself. He creates 
the subjects of his government, and is therefore as to 
their very persons as well as their interests proprietary 
governor. He owns them. He is a pure autocrat. 
And a government by a single will must be the very 
best government, if that will be perfect — if it be abso- 
lutely free from every element of error, injustice and 
wrong. The race therefore could, from the nature of 
the case, have no right to exercise suffrage with refer- 

Objection from Divine Justice. 253 

ence to any feature of the divine government, unless 
God himself were pleased in infinite condescension to 
confer that right. Whether that were possible, will 
not now be considered. It certainly was not a fact, 
and that consideration is sufficient to determine the 
question in hand. The race could have possessed no 
right of suffrage, and consequently there could have 
been no infringement of their rights by an application 
to them of the representative principle. 

Fourthly, The same course of reasoning is pertinent 
to the objection, that the race had no suffrage in the 
selection of the person to represent them — that they 
had no voice in the appointment of Adam to that re- 
sponsible office. But the following considerations 
may be added upon this point: 

In the first place, God was better qualified to judge 
of the question who should be the representative than 
the whole human race could have been, on the sup- 
position that by the anticipation of their actual ex- 
istence, through the almighty power of God, they had 
been assembled in a great mass-meeting at the garden 
of Eden. He is infinitely wise and infinitely benev- 

In the second place, it is plain that upon the sup- 
position of the application of the representative prin- 
ciple, Adam was suited to be the representative. He 
was created in the full maturity of his powers both in 
body and soul. Had any other man been appointed a 
future representative, he must have been appointed to 
act either in his childhood or in adult age. If in 
childhood, the folly of the appointment would have 
been transparent. If in adult age, what guarantee 
would have existed that he would not sin before arriv- 

254 Calvinism and Evangelical Anjiinianisni. 

iiig at maturity? The folly of such an appointment 
would have been equally manifest. 

Further, Adam was the first man, the parent of the 
whole race. Who then could have been so fit as he 
to be the trustee of the whole race ? The parental 
relation which he sustained to every man grounded 
the propriety of his federal and representative rela- 
tion to every man. How could any man in the line 
of descent have represented those who preceded him? 
Unless, indeed, we suppose that election terminated 
on man in innocence. But it did not. This last sup- 
position is mentioned for the reason that for aught we 
know the elect angels were in some sense represented 
by Christ. In that case, as their existence would 
have ante-dated his incarnation, his merits would have 
been reflected back upon their standing; or rather 
their standing would have been grounded in his future 
obedience. So, we know, it actually was with the 
Old Testament saints. 

It deserves moreover to be considered, that the re- 
sponsibilities which weighed upon the first man, on 
the supposition that he was a representative, must of 
necessity have been greater than those which could 
have been gathered upon any one of his descendants. 
To no other man could the whole race have sustained 
the relation of posterity. He alone could feel that 
all mankind were destined to be his offspring. The 
responsibilities of the father of the whole race could 
alone rest upon him; a-nd if he could not fitly dis- 
charge the functions of a representative under so ac- 
cumulated a load of responsibilities, it is certain that 
none of his descendants could. 

(5.) If the principle of represeutation be discarded 

Objection frouL Divine Justice. 255 

on tlie alleged ground of its injustice, it follows that 
under no circumstances can it be admitted. Unjust 
in one instance, it would be unjust in all. The rep- 
resentation of sinners by Christ must consequently be 
rejected as unjust. And then upon the supposition 
of the sin of the whole race of individuals, the re- 
motest hope of their salvation would be shut out. For 
it is evident that no transgressor of the divine law 
could deliver himself from its penalty; and it is 
equally clear that no one laboring under the spiritual 
disabilities incurred by sin could recover himself from 
their influence. But if it would be impossible for the 
sinner to extricate himself from the disastrous conse- 
quences of his sin, and the principle of representa- 
tion, involving substitution, would be inadmissible, 
every sinner must lie down hopelessly under the press- 
ure of his doom. There are only two suppositions 
which could furnish a ray of hope — either that the 
sinner might deliver himself, or that he might be de- 
livered by a substitute — and both are excluded. The 
Pelagian hypothesis is here thrown out of account, as 
having not the shadow of support either from the 
Scriptures or from the principles of reason. "With- 
out shedding of blood is no remission." Atonement 
or eternal death: these are the only alternatives to 
the transgressors of an infinite law. To this reason- 
ing sundry objections may be offered. 

First, It may be objected that representation which 
God foreknew would issue in a fall into sin, and repre- 
sentation intended to recover men from the disastrous 
effects of a fall, stand on a different foot in relation to 
justice, and to benevolence as well. But it is forgot- 
ten by those who urge this objection that man at ere- 

2s6 Calvinism and Evans^elical Arminianisni. 

ation was endowed with freedom of will and with 
amply sufficient strength to refrain from sin and stand 
in holiness. The objection might be relevant if the 
nature of man as it issued from the creative hand of 
God implicated the necessity of a fall. But this is 
contrary to fact. If, then, the representative had 
maintained his standing, his posterity would have 
cheaply won confirmation in holiness and happiness. 

These objections also overlook the important con- 
sideration that the confirmed holiness and happiness 
of the race were suspended upon an obedience of their 
representative which was limited as to time. Had he 
kept his integrity for the specified period designated 
in God's covenant, these priceless blessings w^ouid 
have been secured for himself and his posterity. 

On the other hand, had there been no super-addi- 
tion of a covenant to the naked dispensation of law, 
there could, from the nature of the case, have been 
no possible justification either for himself or for any 
member of his race. The demand of law unmodified 
by a covenant arrangement would have been for per- 
petual obedience as the condition of continued life. 
The requirement would have been. Obey, and as long 
as you obey you shall live; disobey, and you shall die. 
The period never could have been reached when the 
subject could upon a plea of finished obedience have 
been entitled to expect the confirmation of his rela- 
tions to God. The contingency of a fall would have 
gone on parallel with his immortal existence. 

It may be contended that while this is true in re- 
gard to the necessity of a covenant in order to justifi- 
cation, it was not necessary that the feature of repre- 
sentation should have been incorporated into the 

Objection from Diz'inc Justice. 257 

federal constitution. It might have pleased Gcd to 
have entered into a separate covenant with each indi- 
vidual involving such a limitation upon the time of 
obedience as would have rendered possible the justifi- 
cation of every man. But whatever may be thought 
of the possibility of such an arrangement there are 
two things wdiich clearly show that it w^as not a fact, 
and therefore it is idle to raise the question. In the 
first place, the universality of original sin prov^es that 
every member of the race was implicated in the re- 
sponsibility of Adam's first sin, and that the com- 
plexion of his moral history was derived from it. 
There could have been no separate covenant wnth 
each individual. In the second place, the Epistle to 
the Romans settles the question. It teaches that the 
representative character of Adam was analogous to 
that of Christ. 

It is evident from what has been said that mankind 
had in their first progenitor and legal representative a 
fair chance of attaining upon easy conditions a con- 
firmed life of holiness and bliss which would have 
forever placed them beyond the possibility of falling. 

Secondly, It may be objected that had the principle 
of representation not been adopted, and each individ- 
ual of the race had been placed upon his own foot in 
relation to the divine law, many might have stood — 
more, it may be, than are actually saved through the 
atonement of Christ. It is not difficult to show that 
this is a wild supposition. 

In the first place, the precedent of the fallen angels 
is against it. We have reason to believe that the prin- 
ciple of representation did not apply in their case. 
Each stood on the foot of individual obedience. But 

258 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

all of them fell. If angels, why not men ? And it 
merits serious reflection that having fallen they re- 
main so. The principle upon which they originally 
stood related to God appears to have been retained by 
him in application to their case. No federal head 
and representative, so far as we know, has been ap- 
pointed for them in their fallen and ruined condition. 
We know not the whole case, but these facts are sug- 

In the second place, the precedent of Adam is 
against the supposition. With all his measureless 
responsibilities thronging upon him, he fell. In all 
the maturity of his glorious faculties and endowments, 
he fell. What shadow of probability is there that 
mere children would have been able to resist the as- 
saults of that master of temptation who so promptly 
seduced him? For Adam's descendants would not 
have been born as he was created. It is more than 
probable that had each man been placed on his own 
individual footing each one v/ould have fallen. 

In the third place, each descendant of Adam would 
have had the influence of his evil example exerted 
upon him. The principle of imitation is strong, and 
would have seconded the temptations of the Devil. 
Added to this influence of the first man would have 
been that of every succeeding fall into sin, an influ- 
ence gathering fresh accretion and augmented strength 
as the generations of men multiplied in number. 

(6.) It may be objected that while it is consistent 
with justice that another's rif^hteousness should be 
imputed, it is not consistent with that attribute that 
another's guilt should be imputed: justice requires 
that only the guilt of one's own conscious sin should 

Objection from Divine Justice. 259 

be imputed to him. If this be true, it would follow 
that the guilt of Adam's first siu could not, consist- 
ently with justice, be imputed to his posterity. 

We have here the assertion of a general principle 
or law — that of the impossibility under a just govern- 
ment of the imputation of another's guilt to one 
consciously and subjectively innocent. One clear in- 
stance to the contrary would destroy this pretended 
generalization, by negativing the assumed impossi- 
bility. Such an instance, and it is an illustrious one, 
w^e have in Christ. It is of course admitted on all 
hands that he was subjectively and consciously sinless. 
He was holy, harmless, undcfiled and separate from 
sinners. It is a fact, however, that he suffered and 
suffered unto death, even the accursed death of the 
cross. Now there are only three conceivable supposi- 
tions in the case: either that he suffered without the 
imputation to him of any guilt; or that he suffered in 
consequence of the imputation to him of his own 
guilt; or that he suffered in consequence of the impu- 
tation to him of others' guilt. To say that he suffered 
without the imputation to him of any guilt is to im- 
peach the justice of the divine government; for if 
there be any principle of government which is axiom- 
atic it is that no suffering can be justly inflicted 
iipon a person entirely innocent. To say that he 
suffered in consequence of the imputation to him of 
his own guilt is alike to blaspheme, and to subvert 
the grounds of human salvation. It remains that he 
must have suffered in consequence of the imputation 
to him of the guilt of others. 

It is admitted by the parties to this controversy that 
the sufferings of Christ were penal. As he could not 

26o Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism, 

have been punished for nothing, or for his own guilt, 
it follows necessarily that he was punished for the 
guilt of others imputed to him. 

This fact so vital to the pardon and salvation of 
sinners is explicitly affirmed in the Scriptures. They 
declare that human guilt was imputed to Christ. 
"And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the 
Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin-offering: But 
the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scape-goat, 
shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an 
atonement with him, and to let him go as a scape- 
goat into the wilderness. And when he hath made 
an end of reconciling the holy place, and the taber- 
nacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall 
brinof the live o^oat: And Aaron shall lav both his 
hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over 
him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and 
all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them 
upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away 
by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. And 
the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto 
a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in 
the wilderness." " My sins [guiltiness: marg.] are not 
hid from thee." "He was wounded for our trans- 
gressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chas- 
tisement of our peace was upon him; and with his 
stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone 
astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and 
the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." 
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew 
no sin." "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse 
of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is writ- 
ten, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.'- 

Objection from Divine Justice. 261 

" So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." 
"Who his ownself bare our sins in his own body on 
the tree." 

But let it be conceded that the Scriptures teacli the 
imputation of his people's guilt to Christ, and it will 
be urged that he consented to this imputation, whereas 
the descendants of Adam did not consent to -the im- 
putation of his guilt to them. The presence of con- 
sent in the one case, and its absence in the other, 
makes them so different as to destroy the analogy be- 
tween them. To this it may be replied : 

First, If it be a principle of all moral government, 
including the divine, that guilt cannot be imputed 
where there has been no conscious sin, it would be 
unsupposable that the infinitely just God, represent- 
ing the Trinity, could have infringed that principle 
by imputing guilt to his sinless Son. It is inconceiv- 
able that either the Father or the Son could have 
consented to a measure involving the sacrifice of a 
principle affirmed to be fundamental to a righteous 
government. That consent to so transcendently won- 
derful and awful a procedure as the imputation of the 
guilt of others to the Son of God, viewed as incar- 
nate, can only be conceived by us as possible on the 
ground that it was consistent with the divine perfec- 
tions, and was justified by the infinitely glorious ends 
which were designed to be secured. 

Secondly, It is hard to avoid the impression that 
those who urge the view under consideration, con- 
found two things which are entirely distinct. It is 
one thing to impute the guilt of conscious sin, when 
no conscious sin has been committed, and quite an- 
other thing to impute the guilt of another's conscious 

262 Calvinism and Evano^elical Arniinianisni. 


sin. Ill the former case the principle of justice would 
be flagrantly violated, for the imputation would not 
be in accordance with fact. It would be untrue and 
therefore unjust. But the same difficulty does not 
exist in the latter case. To impute to one the guilt 
of another's conscious sin does not necessarily involve 
an inconsistency with fact, and therefore does not 
necessarily conflict with truth. Wiiile then it would 
have been impossible for God the Father to impute to 
his incarnate Son the guilt of conscious, subjective 
sin, seeing he was holy, harmless, undefiled and sepa- 
rate from sinners, and equally impossible for God to 
impute the guilt of conscious, subjective sin to Adam's 
descendants for implication in his fall, seeing that 
when he fell they were not in conscious existence, it 
is neither impossible nor incredible that God the 
Father should have determined to introduce into his 
moral government a principle of representation in ac- 
cordance with which, in order to the divine glory and 
the salvation of sinners, he called his Son to assume 
the guilt of fallen man, nor is it impossible or in- 
credible that in dealing with the human race God, 
proceeding upon the same principle in appointing 
Adam as their federal head, should have ordained the 
imputation to them of his righteousness if he stood, 
and of his guilt if he fell. In either case, that of 
Christ or the posterity of Adam, the imputation is not 
of conscious and subjective, but of constructive, legal, 
representative guilt. 

Thirdly, The distinction must not be overlooked 
between the consent of one to be the representative 
of others and the consent of constituents to be repre- 
sented. The former was the case of Christ. His free 

Obiection from Divine Justice. 263 

consent to the appointment of the Father by which 
he became the representative of sinners, involving 
the imputation of their guilt to him, is supposed in 
the formation of the covenant of redemption. The 
same thing holds good in part of the case of Adam. 
He was by a free act of God's will appointed the rep- 
resentative of his posterity. It is true that this ap- 
pointment could not have been declined by Adam, 
but it is also true that as he was graciously admitted 
to be a party to a covenant with God, his free and 
spontaneous consent to the. divine ordination was sup- 
posed. If then it be granted that the cordial consent 
of a representative to the constitution under which 
he is appointed is supposed, it will not follow that the 
free, conscious consent of the constituents is to be 
equally supposed. Such was not the fact in regard to 
Christ's constituents. They did not, could not, con- 
sent in the first instance to his appointment as their 
representative. The same is true of Adam's constit- 
uents, who, in the first instance, did not and could 
not consciously consent to his appointment as their 
representative. The analogy then might be regarded 
as in some degree holding between Christ as consent- 
ing to be a representative and Adam as consenting to 
sustain a similar relation ; but for aught that appears 
it would not obtain between Christ as a representative 
and Adam's constituents as represented. 

Fourthly, Another distinction merits notice, to 
wit, between the derivation of responsibility upwards 
from constituents to a federal head and representa- 
tive, on the one hand, and, on the other, the deriva- 
tion of responsibility downwards from a federal head 
and representative to constituents. The cases are not 

264 Calvinism and Evangelical Arnii7iianism. 

perfectly analogous. It may, therefore, not be legiti- 
mate to say that because the Son of God consented to 
the imputation of the guilt of his constituents to him, 
it was requisite that Adam's constituents should have 
consented to the imputation of his guilt to them. 
If consent were necessary in the one case, it would 
not, in consequence of that fact, be proved that it 
was necessary in the other. 

It deserves consideration that, on the supposition 
of the appointment of the Son of God as the federal 
head and representative of a sinful constituency, it 
was in the nature of things necessary for him to as- 
sume their guilt, and for God the Father judicially 
to impute it to him. Their guilt was not contem- 
plated in the counsels of the Godhead as in any 
sense contingent, but. as a fact; that is to say, it was 
not in any sense contingent whether they would be 
guilty or not. They were viewed as fallen. But the 
case was, in some degree, different in regard to the 
relation between Adam and his posterity. There 
was, antecedently to his fall, no intrinsic necessity 
that his guilt should be imputed to them, because 
there was no such necessity that he should sin and 
contract guilt. He might have stood, and then his 
righteousness would have been imputed to them; on 
which supposition, their consent, according to the 
admission of the objectors, would not have been 
necessary. For it is conceded that a vicarious right- 
eousness may be imputed, at least is imputable, 
without the previous consent of those upon whom 
such imputation is designed to take effect. 

It will be said in reply that, granted there was no 
intrinsic necessity that Adam should fall and that his 

Objection fro7n Divine Jtistice. 265 

guilt should be imputed, yet God foreknew that such 
would be the actual result of a covenant with him; 
consequent!}', the difficulty is not removed. I rejoin, 
that had no federal and representative arrangement 
been adopted, and all men had been dealt with 
severally, each on his own foot, God might have 
foreknov/n that like the fallen angels all would have 
lapsed from holiness. Will it be demanded that be- 
fore such an arrangement could have been justified 
the consent to it of every human being should have 
been secured? Who would take that ground? Why, 
then, might not the federal constitution have been 
adopted, without the consent of mankind, even 
though it was divinely foreseen that it would actually 
issue in the Fall? Looking at the matter from the 
low view of consequences, we must admit that no 
more injury has accrued from the application of the 
representative principle without the consent of man- 
kind, than would have resulted if it had not been in- 
troduced and men without their consent had been 
treated as individually responsible. 

It must also be again observed that had not the 
representative economy been adopted, and each mem- 
ber of the race had fallen through his own conscious 
sin, the ruin of all would have been irretrievable. 
For it is certain that no fallen human beincr could 
have saved himself. And if it be said that at least 
the justice of God in punishing every man only for 
his own conscious sin would have been apparent, it 
is easy to answer that the exercise of mercy in saving 
men would also have been debarred. Whether it 
would have been better that justice should be mani- 
fested in damning all, or mercy in saving some, it 
may be left to the objectors themselves to determine. 

266 Calvinism and Evang^elical Armiiiianism. 


Fifthly, There is still another distinction which 
must be emphasized. It is that which exists between 
the infinite Son of God, as in essence identical and in 
power and glory equal with the eternal Father, on the 
one hand, and the finite, human subjects of the divine 
government, on the other. Antecedently to his own 
free act, by which he subordinated himself as Medi- 
ator to the will of his Father, the Sou of God was not 
a subject of law ; he was no creature, bound by the 
very conditions of the creaturely relation to comply 
with the requirements of the divine government. He 
was, with the Father, the source and administrator of 
the divine rule. Hence it is obvious that, in order to 
his becoming the representative and sponsor of sinful 
beings (amazing fact !) with the end in view of secur- 
ing their pardon and salvation, his own free consent 
to such a procedure should exist. Without it, it is 
not conceivable that the mysterious economy by which 
he became the suffering and dying vicar, the priestly 
substitute, of sinners should have been carried into 
execution. He must have voluntarily consented to 
assume the guilt of sinners, and to be regarded and 
treated as putatively guilty, in order to the judicial 
imputation of guilt to him by God the Father as the 
representative of the Godhead in the solemn transac- 
tion. This has been clearly enough shown by such 
writers as Dr. John Owen, Bishop Horsley, Robert 
Hall and James Thornwell. But it would be extrav- 
agant to use the case of the Son of God as an ana- 
logue to that of mere creatures of the divine power 
and subjects of the divine law. What is and must be 
true of him is by no means necessarily predicable of 
them. If his consent to the employment of the rep- 

Objection from Divine Justice. 267 

resentative principle, in sncli an application to him as 
to involve the impntation of the guilt of others to 
him, was indispensable, it does not follow that the 
application of the same principle of government to 
mere creatures and subjects, resulting in their impli- 
cation in another's guilt, must have been conditioned 
only upon their free, conscious concurrence. It 
would amount to this: that it would have been im- 
possible, because unjust, for God ever to have in- 
troduced the representative feature into his moral 
government, so far as the appointment of a creature 
as representative is concerned. The reason is plain. 
The appointment of such a representative, being 
necessarily founded in the eternal purpose of God, 
must from the nature of the case be prospective in its 
character— must anticipate the conscious existence 
of those for whom the representative is intended to 
act, and must therefore, if made at all, be made 
without their conscious consent. Will those who 
urge the objection under consideration maintain the 
view, that the infinite God was estopped from em- 
ploying the principle of representation in the moral 
government of his creatures? 

This objection, the gravity of which is not denied, 
has thus been subjected to a fair examination, and 
the reasons advanced against its relevancy, it may 
without arrogance be claimed, are at least sufficient 
to show, that the difficulties which it creates are 
more formidable than those inhering in the doctrine 
against which it is directed. 
^7.) In an issue between the plain statements of 
Scripture and an alleged fundamental intuition, the 
proof of the reality of that intuition and of tlie legiti- 

268 Calvinism and Evano-elical Arniinianism. 


macy of its application to the case in hand mnst be 
such as to place it beyond suspicion. It must not be 
doubtful. It is admitted that our fundamental laws 
of belief and our fundamental principles of rectitude 
are standards to which, in some measure, the claims 
of a professed revelation from God are to be brought 
and by which they are to be tested. In some meas- 
ure, I say, for they are far from being the only 
standards of adjudication. They enter as only one 
element into the criteria of judgment. But it must 
not be a spurious or even a doubtful law, which is 
thus erected into a standard by which an alleged 
supernatural revelation is to be tried. Let now this 
rule be applied to the supposed intuition of justice, 
which is appealed to in opposition to the doctrine of 
federal representation as delivered in the Scriptures. 
The foregoing argument, even if it be regarded as 
defective in conclusiveness, at least avails to show, 
that the alleged intuition of justice, in its application 
as a standard of judgment to that doctrine of federal 
representation as employed in the history of our race, 
is not beyond impeaclnnent. It is itself on trial and 
therefore fails to be an unequivocal standard. It cer- 
tainly is not sufficiently clear to ground the rejection 
of the Scriptures as the professed testimony of God. 
Let us now briefly review the argument. The Cal- 
vinist maintains that God was just in decreeing to 
reprobate those who, by their own unnecessitated sin, 
had brought themselves into a condition of guilt and 
condemnation. To this it is objected, that they are 
born in a state of sin and spiritual inability. As thev 
are born sinners, it cannot be shown that they are 
punishable for their sin. It is conoenital and consti- 

Objection from Diz'inc Justice. 269 

tutional. As they are born disabled b}- sin from 
obeyintr God's requirements, either legal or evangel- 
ical, they are not punishable for disobedience, inas- 
much as ability conditions obligation. As this diffi- 
culty presses equally upon the Arminian and the Cal- 
vinist, each meets it in his own way. The Arminian 
contends that men are accountable for original, or 
birth, sin, because they were seminally contained in 
Adam as their first father, who differed from other 
fathers only in this, that he sustained a public rela- 
tion to the whole race, which was possible to no other 
parent; and because this relation of parental head- 
ship, foreseen as issuing in sin and a fall, was modi- 
fied by a purpose of redemption which was co-ordi- 
nated with it. Further by virtue of an universal I 
atonement, the guilt of Adam's sin is not imputed, ' 
and by grace inability is removed. In this way the 
Arminian endeavors to vindicate the divine justice, 
in connection with a constitution which involved the 
race in congenital sin and inability. I have endeav- 
ored to show that this mode of meeting^ the gricrantic 
difficulty, is insufficient and unsatisfactory, whether 
tested by Scripture or reason. 

The Calvinist meets the difficulty by showing, that 
upon the relation of parental headship sustained by 
Adam to his race, the grace of God superinduced that 
of federal and legal representation. The race had 
their first probation in him. They were legally and 
representatively one with him, so that his act of sin 
was, considered not consciously and subjectively, but; 
legally and representatively, their sin, and /;/ that\ 
seiise^ their sin really, actually, personally, individ- 
ually. In him they sinned. Consequently the guilt 


Calvinism and Evangelical Arnjiinianism. 

of that sin was justly imputable to them as their own 
guilt. It was another's guilt, inasmuch as they did 
not contract it consciously an-d subjectively. In this 
sense, it was the guilt of another's sin — peccatiun alie- 
nnni, and became theirs by imputation only, just as, 
in this sense, the merit of Christ's righteousness is 
the merit of another'' s righteousness— /V/j-Z/Z/^^ aliena^ 
and becomes his people's only by imputation. But 
as they did contract Adam's guilt by acting legally 
and representatively in him, in that sense, the guilt 
was self-contracted, and the great maxim, "The soul 
that sinneth, it shall die," is not infringed. That 
Adam's descendants should be born, if born at all, 
in sin and spiritual inability, so far from being de- 
barred, is required, by justice. In him they con- 
tracted guilt, and by their act despoiled themselves of 
that spiritual ability which was their concreated en- 
dowment. The fact, and the justice, of the federal 
constitution, involving the application of the prin- 
ciple of legal representation to the race in Adam, 
having been proved, the conclusion follows, that as 
mankind brought themselves into a condition of con- 
demnation by their own fault, God is just in contin- 
uing upon some of them that doom which they had 
justly contracted. 

I have dwelt at some length upon these views, be- 
cause I am compelled to regard the great principle of 
Federal Representation, through which the sovereign 
grace of God dealt at first with man and deals with 
. him now, as one of the key-principles of the Calvin- 
1 istic system. If that principle be torn out of it, the 
system is disintegrated. Believing that it is im- 
pressed upon the whole Word of God, and illustrated 

Objection from Divine Justice. 271 

in part by every scheme of free, representative gov- 
ernment among men, I feel satisfied that its import- 
ance cannot be exaggerated. 

It will be asked. What is the bearing of the Calvin- 
istic doctrine, tonching the decree of election and re- 
probation, npon the case of infants dying in infancy? 
I reluctantly answer the question, because it has so 
often been made a theme for furious declamation 
rather than for sober inquiry. To those who are 
willing to argue and not to denounce, we are ready to 
give an answer. There have been very few Calvin- 
ists who have taken the ground that any infants 
dying in infancy are excluded from salvation, so few 
as to exercise no influence upon the Calvinistic 
system. The great majority are divided into two 
classes: those who afHrm the salvation of all infants 
dying in infancy — and at the present day this is 
probably the more numerous class ; and those who 
affirm the certain salvation of all infants dying in 
infancy, who are children of believing parents, and 
content themselves with maintaining, in reference to 
other infants dying in infancy, the strong probability 
of their salvation. The former class, consequently, 
affirm the election to salvation of all infants dying in 
infancy, the reprobation of none ; the latter class 
affirm the certain election of all infants dying in in- 
fancy, who are children of believing parents, and 
maintain the probable election of others dying in in- 
fancy. No class affirm the certain or probable repro- 
bation of any infants dying in infancy. The ques- 
tion, therefore, of the justice of their reprobation is 
groundless, since neither the certainty nor the proba- 
bility of their reprobation is asserted by any class of 

272 Calvinism and Evangelical Ar}ninia7iisni. 

But does not the Westminster Confession say that 
only elect infants are saved? No, it does not. The 
qualifying term only is not used. These are the 
words: "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regener- 
ated and saved by Christ through the Spirit who 
worketh when and where and how he pleaseth. So 
also are all other elect persons, who are incapable of 
being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word." 
The framers of the Confession evidently meant to 
imply that, as no human beings can be saved except 
in consequence of election, no infants, dying in in- 
fancy, can be saved, except in consequence of elec- 
tion. If all infants dying in infancy be saved, then 
they are all elect, and to this no Evangelical Arminian 
can consistently object, since he holds that all who are 
saved are elect. But the question whether all infants, 
dying in infancy, are elect, and therefore are saved, is 
one which the Confession did not undertake to de- 
cide. As it is not a matter concerning which the 
Scriptures speak definitely, it was wisely left where 
they put it. 

If the ground be taken that justice requires the 
salvation of all infants dying in infancy, Calvinists 
unanimously deny. For the salvation of no sinner 
can be required by justice, and infants are sinners. 
If it be maintained, that all infants, dying in infancy, 
are saved through the mercy of God, applying to them 
the justifying blood of Christ and communicating the 
regenerating grace of the Spirit, speaking for myself, 
I do not deny. I think it probable and hope it may 
be so. But I am not prepared to go further, and dog- 
matically affirm what the Scriptures do not clearly 
reveal. The W^ord of God, and not human sentiment, 

Objtxtiou from Divine Justice, 273 

is our rule of faith. When that speaks, let us speak; 
when it is silent, let us hold our peace. 

It may be objected to tlie foregoing views, that the 
chief weio'ht of the divine condemnation of sinners is 
represented as imposed upon them in consequence of 
their fall in Adam, and their possession of the princi- 
ple of original sin; whereas the indictments of Scrip- 
ture are mainlv directed ao^ainst actual transsrressions. 
It is conceded that God's rebukes, expostulations and 
warnings have reference principally to the actual dis- 
positions and transgressions of the wicked, but it 
cannot be overlooked that these actual wickednesses 
have their root in the principle of sin which is con- 
genital with men. They develop and express it. 
We are, therefore, compelled, in the last analysis, to 
refer the ground of blameworthiness and condemna- 
tion to original sin. If that were not blameworthy 
and condemnable, but were a part of man's original 
constitution for the existence of which he is not ac- 
countable, it would be vain to seek in actual disposi- 
tions and sins, expressing a nature which he had no 
hand in producing but sim])ly received, a legitimate 
ground of reprobation. INIen consciously and sponta- 
neously commit actual sins, and the divine condem- 
nation of those sins is enforced by the decisions of 
conscience, but the root is the innate deprivation of 
original righteousness, and the innate principle of un- 
godliness; and this condition of the race at birth can- 
not be adjusted to our conceptions of justice, except 
upon the supposition of ante-natal guilt. This sup- 
position the Scriptures confirm. The ultimate solu- 
tian of the question urged by the intuition of justice 
is, therefore, to be found in the legal representation 

274 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

of the race by their primitive progenitor uncier the 
covenant of works. The case is not helped by the 
Arniinian hypothesis of a gracious restoration of 
ability to the whole race. For either that supposed 
restoration of ability implies the regeneration of the 
whole race, or it does not. If it do, the supposition 
is exploded by facts: the whole race are not regener- 
ated. If it do not, the ability imparted is not suffi- 
cient to overcome the principle of original sin, and 
the difficulty returns in all its force. Back to Eden — 
back to Eden, w^e must inevitably go. 

If any one should still object to the decrees of 
election and reprobation as unjust, we return to him 
the answer of the inspired apostle: ''Who art thou, 
O man, that repliest against God?" Has not God the 
right to deal with sinners as he pleases? Has he not 
the right to glorify his grace in the salvation of some 
out of the ill-deserving mass, and to glorify his justice 
in the destruction of others.'* Who is this potsherd of 
earth that quarrels with infinite sovereignty and jus- 
tice? Let Him quarrel with those who are like him 
— the potsherds of earth. 


The next objection to the Calvinistic doctrines of 
election and reprobation, wdiich will be considered, is 
derived from the divine zoodness. It is ur^ed that 
God's love is extended to every man,' that his tendei 
mercies are over all his works ; that it would be an 
impeachment of his goodness lo say, that he elected 
some of mankind to be saved and ordained others to 

^ Watson, 77^<?^. Inst. Vol. ii., p. 341. 

Objectioii JroDi Divi>ie Goodness, 275 

perish; that, knowiiif^ his efficacious grace to be 
necessary to the salvation of any, he decreed to im- 
part it to some, and to withhold it fro:u others no 
worse than tliey. 

Some Calvinistic writers, in answering this objec- 
tion, resort to the distinction between God's love of 
benevolence and his love of complacency. They 
admit, what the Scriptures plainly teach, that God 
exercises a love of benevolence towards all men, 
whatever their moral character may be. The com- 
mon gifts of his providence, which are conferred 
without distinction upon the righteous and the 
wicked, are sufficient to evince this fact. "But I say 
unto you," is the inculcation of Christ in his Sermon 
on the Mount, "Love your enemies, bless them that 
hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use 
you and persecute you; that ye may be the children 
of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his 
sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth 
rain on the just and on the unjust."^ But this unde- 
niable love of benevolence which God exercises 
towards all men is not to be confounded with the love 
of complacency with which he regards his elect 
people — a peculiar love which is indicated in such 
passages as this: "The Lord hath appeared of old 
unto me, saying, yea, I have loved thee with an ever- 
lasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I 
drawn thee."^ Did God, it is argued, love all man- 
kind with the h)ve of complacency, his refusal to save 
all would present a difficult}- which could not be ex- 
plained. But the fact that he regards some with the 
mere love of benevolence is attended with no such 

^ Matt. V. 44, 45. "-^ Jer. xxxi. 3. 

276 Calvinism and Evangelical Arntinianisui. 

difficulty. The infliction of the punishments, re- 
quired by justice, upon the objects on whom the 
love of benevolence terminates is a fact abundantly 
asserted in Scripture and constantly illustrated by 
experience and observation. The conclusion is that 
the decree of reprobation is not inconsistent with the 
love of God to men, or, what is the same thing, with 
the divine goodness. 

I confess my inability to avail myself of this Scrip- 
tural distinction, and of the argument based upon it 
answering the objection under consideration. The 
human race having been conceived in the eternal 
mind — so we must phrase it in our human dialect — 
as fallen by their own fault into sin, justice demanded 
the punishment of the whole race. It could require 
no less. On the other hand, mercy, which is but the 
benevolence of God contemplating the case of the ill- 
deserving and miserable, sought the salvation of the 
race; and being an infinite attribute, sought, we may 
well suppose, the salvation of the whole race. Exist- 
ing together in the divine being, these infinite attri- 
butes, though differing in their intrinsic nature, are 
perfectly harmonious. But we are obliged to conceive 
that the exercise of one may check the exercise of the 
other. Did mercy not check the exercise of justice, 
the whole human race would be in the case of the 
fallen angels. None would be saved. Did justice 
not check the exercise of mercy, the whole human 
race would be saved. None would be lost. So prob- 
ably was it in the divine settlement of the question as 
to the salvation of a guilty world. It pleased God in 
the exercise of his sovereign will, so far to yield to 
the plea of mercy as to determine, npon the ground 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 277 

of a competent mediation and substitution, to save 
some of the fallen race, and so far to accede to the 
claim of justice as to determine to leave others in its 
hands. But, in contemplating the sinful mass, God 
could have perceived in none of them any relations 
or qualities suited to elicit the love of complacency. 
The Westminster standards say that "out of his mere 
love" he determined to save some; but from the na- 
ture of the case that love could not have been at first 
the love of complacency. It must have been the love 
of benevolence. Having, by an act of sovereign will, 
decreed to elect some of the race to sah-ation, and hav- 
ing, consequently, appointed for them a Redeemer, he 
loved them with the peculiar love of complacency. 
The love of complacency was not the motive, but the 
fruit, of the electing decree. This, I take it, was the 
doctrine of those theologians, De Moor for instance, 
who held that Christ was not "the foundation of 

If these views be correct, it will be seen, that in 
considering the relation of the decrees of election and 
reprobation to the goodness of God, the question is ^ 
simply in regard to the love of benevolence. Is it to 
represent God as having acted inconsistently with his 
love of benevolence to the whole human race, to say, 
that, conceiving them as being all in precisely the 
same condition, he decreed to save some and to im- 
part to them efficacious grace to that end, and to pun- 
ish others, and therefore to withhold such grace from 
them? This being regarded as the state of the ques- 
tion, the negative will now be maintained. But it 
must be noticed that the Calvinist is not bound to 
show that the decree to reprobate the wicked was the 

278 Calvinism and Evangelical Aniiinianism. 

product of benevolence. It is enough to prove that 
it is not inconsistent with benevolence. It is not the 
Calvinist, it is the ]\Ioral Influence School, that is re- 
sponsible for the wonderful discovery that all suffering 
is the fruit of love. It is not the Calvinist who gal- 
lantly contends that it is love which breaks the crim- 
inal's neck on earth and sends him to further punish- 
ment in hell. He refers penal suffering not to love 
but justice, and all that is incumbent on him, in con- 
nection with this matter, is to show that the measures 
of justice are not inconsistent with the requirements 
of benevolence. 

(i.) In the foregoing remarks, besides the adduc- 
tion of evidence that the Calvinistic doctrines under 
treatment are set forth in Scripture, the attempt was 
made to show that they are not only not inconsistent, 
but positively consistent, with the divine justice, in 
answer to the objection that they cannot be recon- 
ciled with that attribute. If that argument was con- 
clusive, it must exert a controlling influence upon 
the present question. It has been already observed 
that the acting of one divine attribute may clieck and 
modify that of another. In such a case, the divine 
wisdom decides to what extent the exercise of one 
should limit that of another. But supposing that one 
attribute has been actually exercised, it is impossible 
to conceive that such an exercise can be inconsistent 
with the nature of any other attribute. The forth- 
putting of the divine energies must be self-consistent, 
and consistent with every divine perfection. If, tlien, 
the reprobation of a part of the sinful race of man was 
just, it could not have been inconsistent with the di- 
vine goodness. Otherwise one attribute would liave 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 279 

been exercised at the expense of another, and there 
would be a clash between the infinite perfections of 
God ; and that is an impossible supposition. 

For aught we know, the divine goodness may have 
suggested the salvation of the fallen angels, of some, 
or of all, of them. But on the supposition that such 
was the case, the determination to hold them under 
punishment, and the actual execution of that purpose, 
were certainly consistent with, the goodness of God. 
But whether goodness suggested or not their salvation, 
it is a fact that their reprobation was decreed, and has 
been carried into execution. Was this procedure in- 
consistent W'ith the divine goodness? Would any 
one who reverences God take that ground? But if 
not, why should the reprobation of human beings, 
who by their own fault fell into sin, be deemed in- 
consistent with goodness? If the reprobation of all 
the fallen angels was consistent with goodness, why 
not the reprobation o{ some fallen men? 

It may be said that these two classes of beings were 
so differently circumstanced that to argue from the 
case of the one to that of the other is illegitimate. 
But all that it is necessary to show, in order to bring 
the two cases within the scope of this argument, is 
that both classes of beings fell by their own fault, 
and that, therefore, their punishment was just. This 
the Arminian, at least, cannot deny ; and the asser- 
tion of other Anti-Calvinists to the contrary has been 
met and disproved by the preceding argument. 

It may be urged that it is possible that goodness 
did not effect the salvation of the fallen angels, be- 
cause it could not, consistently with justice; but that 
as it is a fact that goodness did propose, consistently 

28o Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

with justice, the salvation of some human beings, it 
could not refrain from conferring tlie same boon upon 
all. For the Calvinist admits that the satisfaction 
rendered by Christ to justice furnished a sufficient 
basis for the salvation of all men without the com- 
promise of that attribute. To this it may be replied: 
first, what goodness could or could not have effected 
consistently with justice in regard to the salvation of 
the fallen angels, we have no means of determining. 
We argue about the matter from ignorance. Our 
premises must be hypotheses, and the whole argu- 
ment hypothetical. It is consequently nothing 
worth. Secondly, it is admitted that God's good- 
ness, for aught we know, might, consistently with 
justice, have accomplished the salvation of all men. 
But if his determination not to save all men was 
consistent with justice, as has been shown, then that 
determination was not inconsistent with goodness. 
Here the Arminian will object that there w^as no 
divine determination not to save all men, but that 
the divine goodness contemplated the salvation of all. 
Let us see. Either he must hold that God's good- 
ness could have effected the salvation of all men, or 
that it could not. If he hold that it could, as he 
admits that all men are not saved, he must also admit 
that God did not save all men although he could 
have done it. And then the difficulty of reconciling 
the destruction of some with the divine goodness 
bears upon him equally with the Calvinist. If he 
hold that the divine goodness could not effect the 
(salvation of all men, he is confronted by these diffi- 
culties: — the difficulty that the will of man effects 
what the goodness of God could not; for, if the 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 281 

divine ooodness could not effect the salvation of all 
men, for the same reason, whatever it may be, it 
could not effect the salvation of any. But some are 
saved. It follows that they accomplish for them- 
selves what God's goodness could not do for them ! 
Another difficulty is, that God permitted man to fall 
into sin with the foreknowledge that his goodness 
could not effect his salvation, and that some men 
would not will to save themselves, but Vv'ould finally 
perish. How could the permission of the Fall be 
reconciled with the divine goodness by the Arminian? 
He might, it is conceivable, attempt to reconcile it 
with justice on the ground of the foreknowledge that 
the salvability of all men would be secured, and 
salvation would be offered to all. But he could not, 
on his principles, harmonize it with goodness. 
Another difficulty is, that those who, conscious 
through the force of sin of their inability to accept 
the offered salvation, pray to God to enable them to 
do it, would pray uselessly and hopelessly, for if the 
prayer were answered and God would grant the de- 
sired help, that would contradict the supposition 
that God's goodness cannot save men. And so as 
neither God could save them, nor they save them- 
selves, they are necessarily lost. And this God must 
liave foreknown. What becomes of the Arminian con- 
ception of the divine goodness? But enougli in re- 
gard to this fatal dilemma, though it might be pressed 
further. If the Arminian contend that God can save 
men and will not save some, tlicn as to the difficulty 
sufTfrested bv oroodness he is in the same boat with 
the Calvinist. If he contend that God cannot save 
men, he is plunged into a wilderness of absurdities 
and self-contradictions. 

2S2 Calvinism and EvaJigclical Arniinianisni. 

(2.) The finiteness of our being, and the consequent 
limitation of our faculties, the fact that w^ are sinful 
worms of the dust born yesterday and crushed before 
the moth, should lead us to be modest and cautious 
in pronouncing upon the question, what is required 
by the infinite perfections of God and the boundless 
interests of the universe. Occupying, as we do, so 
small a place in that vast scheme of moral govern- 
ment wliich embraces in its scope all orders of being, 
in the whole immortality of their development, what 
can we know of tlie exigencies of such a system, ex- 
cept as the all-wise and almighty Ruler shall vouch- 
safe to inform us in the communications of his will ? 
Now, we know, because he has ascertained us of the 
fact, that the angels who kept not their first estate but 
revolted against his government have not been saved 
from the retributive consequences of their fall. The 
case is profoundly mysterious to us, in view of the fact 
that redemption has been provided for fallen human 
beings. But mysterious as it is, it is a revealed fact. 
What man is there, then, professing reverence for the 
Supreme Ruler of the universe, who will venture to 
sit in judgment on the case, and affirm that the meas- 
ure which consio-ned the whole fallen race of aneels 
to hell was inconsistent with the divine q-oodness ? 
Will he not cover his niputh with his hand, lay his 
mouth in the dust before the Majesty on high, and 
humbly confess that in this awful procedure he acted 
alike in consistency with his justice and his goodness? 
What other course could such a man take ? How 
could he pronounce an adverse judgment ? What 
grounds could exist for it ? Has he the consciousness 
of God that he can determine what his infinite perfec- 


Objection from Divine Goodness. 283 

tions demand — his infinite justice which will not com- 
pound with the violators of his law, his infinite holi- 
ness which will not tolerate the least degree of sin, 
but, blazin;^ with insufferable bri^fhtness before cheru- 
bim and seraphim, abashes them into prostrate ador- 
ation ? Has he the omniscience of God, that he can 
grasp the far-reaching and all-comprehending princi- 
ples of his moral government, and say how they 
should or should not be applied ? Has he the love of 
God for all the creatures of his hand and the subjects 
of his illimitable sway, that he can judge what nreas- 
ures are necessary or suitable to promote their inter- 
ests ? No; all the pious, while they adore the justice; 
of God in the reprobation of guilty angels, confess 
also the consistencv of that awful fact with the orood- 
ness of God. 

The same considerations should lead us to refrain 
from questioning the goodness of God in reprobating 
guilty men. We are ignorant of the case as a whole, 
and our attitude should be one of adoring submission. 
What essential difference is there between the case of 
fallen angels and that of fallen men? There is none, 
if it be a fact that both classes of beings fell by their 
own fault. A provision made for the salvation of 
some of the fallen race of men and effectually applied 
to that end, while others are left in the hands of 
justice, cannot constitute such a difference. Had not 
God the right to show his mercy towards some, and 
to continue the operation of his justice upon others? 
And if it be a fact that he has done this, why should 
liis reprobation of some guilty men be deemed more 
inconsistent with goodness than his reprobation of all 
guilty angels? 

284 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

It may be said that there is a difference between 
the two cases, created by the different modes in which 
the two classes of beings came to sin ; for each angel, 
being on his own foot, fell by his own conscious sin, 
whereas men are held accountable for the sin of a 
federal head. But, in the first place, we know too 
little of the trenesis of ano-elic sin to dos^matize about 
it. In the second place, we do know that both angels 
and men were probationers, that they were endowed 
with sufficient ability to obey the divine law, and 
that their disobedience and fall were inexcusable and 
condemnable. And in the third place, this exception 
to the community between the two cases is incompe- 
tent to the Arminian, who admits the accountability 
of the human race for the sin of their head. 

It will be also said, that all men might have been 
saved consistently with justice, since perfect satisfac- 
tion was rendered by Christ to justice. As justice 
opposed no obstacle to the salvation of all, why did 
not goodness effect it? How can the refusal to ac- 
complish it, under such conditions, be reconciled to 
goodness? Again we are obliged, if reverent and 
sober, to remember our ignorance. How can we be 
perfectly sure that the perfections of God and the 
interests of his moral government did not require, 
notwithstanding the discharge of some of the original 
transgressors of law through a commutation of parties 
and the substitution of Christ in their place, that 
some of them should be left under the operation of 
justice? How can we determine that this was not as 
well a beneficent as a righteous measure to deter, by 
so fearful an example, other subjects of the divine 
government from yielding to the temotation to revolt 

Objection from Divine Goodnc 


O - 

in the hope of experiencing easy pardon through 
vicarious interposition? I venture not to assert that 
these things are so, but if they are possible, that con- 
sideration's sufficient to prevent our filing an objec- 
tion to God's reprobation of some human sinners, 
because zve judge that if his goodness saves some of 
mankind consistently with justice, it ought to save all. 
It deserves to be noticed, that in the case of the 
fallen angels we behold the severity of God untem- 
pered by'' goodness to them, but in that of men we 
behold ills goodness and severity; to them who are 
saved goodness, but to them who are lost severity. 
There ts, also, in the angelic case, the direct exercise 
of justice consistently with goodness, and in the hu- 
man case, the direct exercise of goodness consistently 
with justice. In the former, all are punished by jus- 
tice, goodness concurring; in the latter only some are 
punished by justice, goodness concurring, while some 
are postive'ly saved by goodness, justice concurring. 
Manifestly, while there is equal justice in both cases, 
there is more of goodness in the human; and were we 
foreigners to the human race as we are to the angelic, 
and "looked upon both cases as we look upon that of 
the fallen angels, such, no doubt, would be our im- 
partial judgment. _ ^ _ 

(3.) The Arminian, who objects to the Calvinistic 
doctrines of election and reprobation on the ground 
of their inconsistency with divine goodness, should 
reflect that his own doctrine needs to be defended 
against the same objection. His doctrine is that God 
provided redemption for the whole human race, that 
Christ as its substitute offered atonement for every in- 
dividual member of it, and that the effect of this re- 

286 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianisni. 

deeming- provision operating- through an universal 
atonement has been to secure, not the certain salva- 
tion of any man, but the possible salvation — the sal- 
vability — of every man. It is not now intended to 
discuss the correctness of this doctrine, but to raise 
the question, whether it can be shown to be consist- 
ent with divine goodness; whether it be free from the 
charge of inconsistency with that attribute which its 
advocates press upon the Calvinistic doctrine. 

First, it has already been evinced that Arminian 
theologians admit, that the constitution by which the 
race was held accountable for the sin of iVdam, con- 
sidered in itself, apart from a purpose of redemption 
which accompanied it, would have been unjust. It 
does not require formal argument to prove that they 
are under the necessity of also admitting that for sim- 
ilar reasons that constitution, regarded in itself, sepa- 
rately from a purpose of redemption which attended 
it, would have been unkind. But if, as has also been 
clearly shown, a provision of redemption which was 
intended to deliver men from the disastrous results 
foreknown to accrue from that constitution could not 
relieve it from the charge of intrinsic injustice, so 
neither could it rid it of the imputation of intrinsic 
unkindness. Now, this would necessarily have been 
true, even if the redeeming provision had made the 
salvation of every man absolutely certain. The Ar- 
minian scheme is loaded with this difficulty at its very 
start. But this is not all; the difficulty is greatly en- 
hanced by the position that the provision of redemp- 
tion was not intended to secure the certain salvation 
of every man from the consequences of the Fall. It 
was only designed to make it possible. It secured the 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 287 

possibility of deliverance from the efTects of the un- 
kindness done him in the Adamic constitution. But 
it is urged that it is men's own fault if they avail not 
themselves of the deliverance tendered them. Yes, 
but until the tender is actually made them, they suffer 
from the unkindness done them. And more than 
this: their refusal of the tendered salvation — and 
many refuse it — is instigated by the corrupt principle 
which through unkiudness they derived from a con- 
nectiou with Adam to which " they were not consent- 
ing." Is it not, in view^ of these considerations, evi- 
dent that the Arminian has a hard task when he 
undertakes to exhibit the consistency of his doctrine 
with divine goodness — hard enough, at least, to make 
him less forward in urging against the Calvinistic 
doctrine the charge of inconsistency with the benev- 
olence of God. 

Secondly, the case of the heathen is a stumbling- 
stone to the Arminian scheme. According to that 
scheme, the provision of redemption was made for all 
mankind, the atoning death of Christ was intended to 
confer saving benefits upon all without distinction. 
Discrimination between individuals w^ould not be 
consistent with divine goodness. The love of God 
was catholic, it terminated upon every soul of man. 
Hence Christ died for every individual of the race — 
that is, he died for every man to make the salvation 
of every man possible. Consequently, the offer of 
salvation is to be extended to every man, so as to 
give him the opportunity of accepting it; his own 
free acceptance of it being the divinely appointed 
condition of his possible salvation becoming to him 
an actual salvation. To this end, the grace of the 

288 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

Holy Spirit, acquired for the whole race by the merits 
of Christ, is given to every nian to assist him to ac- 
cept the offer, to incline his will to avail itself of it 
and so determine the question of his salvation. 

At first view it would appear as if the benevolence 
of God were highly exemplified in this scheme, which 
inchides within its ample and generous scope every 
individual of our fallen and hapless race; especially 
when it is contrasted with the narrower and more con- 
tracted scheme of the Calvinist, which, although it 
asserts not a merely possible but a certain salvation, 
confines its benefits to the elect. But a formidable 
difficulty at once springs up and opposes this judg- 
ment. The HEATHEN,— v/hat of them? Their 
salvation was made possible by the redemptive pro- 
vision. Christ died to make their salvation possible. 
The blessings he purchased by his blood were in- 
tended for every soul of man, and, therefore, intended 
for them. Now, how comes it to pass that goodness 
so extraordinarily manifested in making this pro- 
vision for their salvation, does not inform them that 
it was made? It is possible for them now to partake 
of it and be saved — to eat of the abundant bread, to 
drink of the living water and quaff the refreshing 
wine. But the heathen know nothiuQ- of this. It is 
their designation — their definition, that they are 
ignorant of the gospel. None who know the gospel, 
however imperfectly, can properly be denominated 
heathen. But there are millions of heathen, strictly 
so called; human beings who have no knowledge 
whatsoever of the gospel and the scheme of redemp- 
tion it reveals. The question must be answered. 
Where, so far as they are concerned, is the goodness 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 289 

in making the redeeming provision? But it was 
made for them. Well, of what avail is it to them 
unless they know that fact? Where is the goodness 
in concealing from some of the beneficiaries of the 
redemptive provision the fact that it was made for 
them'? The provision was made for all, but only a 
few comparatively know of it. Why does not the 
goodness that filled the storehouse and threw open its 
doors invite all the starving to come and partake? 
Why are the invitations extended only to some? 
Surely, it is difficult to reconcile this amazing fact 
with goodness. 

It is in vain to reply that the invitation is extended 
to all. How, we ask, is it extended? If the answer 
be In the Bible; Yes, we rejoin, but the heathen 
know nothing of the Bible. The invitation is on the 
card but the card is not sent to the heathen. If it 
have been already extended, why send foreign mission- 
aries at great sacrifice to themselves and heavy ex- 
pense to the church, to convey it to them? Do they 
not make the first ofibr of the gospel to the contem- 
porary heathen? No, the invitation has not been ex- 
tended to all of them, although the provision is 
affirmed to have been made for all. The question is 
repeated. How is this reconcilable with goodness? 
Were one disposed to imitate the example of some 
Arminian objectors to the Calvinistic scheme, it would 
be easy to paint harrowing rhetorical pictures, in 
order to aggravate the force of this_ difficulty. But 
the purpose is to argue and not declaim. 

It would be equally vain to say, that the heathen 
mav know of the redemptive provision made for them 
if they would. For the question is, how they could 

290 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

will to know of it. If they have no information of 
its existence^ how conld they desire its knowledge f 
Will it be said, that the means of intercommunication 
between the different parts of the w^orld are so great, 
that the knowledge of the gospel scheme is accessible 
to them? The ready answer is, How would that 
affect the heathen who lived in past centuries of the 
Christian era, not to speak of the unnumbered myri- 
ads who preceded it in time? They had not the 
benefit of this modern intercommunication between 
races. But take the case of contemporary heathen, 
and it cannot be foro^otten that if the knowledore of 
the gospel plan be accessible to them, on the supposi- 
tion that they would put forth efforts to acquire it, 
they have no disposition to seek it. It is one of the 
results of acquaintance wnth the gospel that the dis- 
position to know it is engendered. Even when it is 
made known, vast numbers of the heathen actually 
reject it. What room, then, is there for holding that 
they might know of the provision of redemption 
made for them, if they would? Their corrupt na- 
tures preclude their being willing to acquire the 
knowledge. The gospel must be sent to them, else 
they will not hear it ; they must hear, else they will 
not believe; they must believe, else they perish. 
Such is Paul's argument.^ How then can the provi- 
dence which fails to acquaint the heathen with the 
redeeming provision made for them be, on the Ar- 
minian scheme, harmonized with goodness? 

Further, it is a cardinal element of the Arminian 
system that the actual experience of salvation is sus- 
pended upon the voluntary accceptance of it. Men 

^ Rom. X. 

Objectio)i from Divine Goodfiei>s. 291 

must not be constrained by efficacious grace to accept 
it. Grace cannot make them willing. Their power 
of otherwise determining is inalienable. Did they 
not possess the power of self-determination in refer- 
ence to the question of accepting the offer of salva- 
tion, they would cease to be men. If converted by 
efficacious grace, they would not be converted men, 
but converted machines. Men, however assisted by 
grace, must, at last, by a choice of their own wills, 
which might reject it, accept the offer of salvation. 
If this be not conceded to be an element of the Ar- 
minian system, its chief differentiating feature is 
denied. Without it, its distinctive existence, as a 
coherent system, would cease. 

This being the case, how does it consist with good- 
ness, that the opportunity to fulfil the condition upon 
which the experience of salvation is suspended, is not 
given to some of those for whom redemption was pro- 
vided ? It being necessary to their participation of 
its blessings that they should, in the free exercise of 
their own wills, accept the offer of them, how does it 
consist with goodness that the offer is not extended to 
them ? If it be not extended to them, they cannot 
accept it; if they do not accept it, they cannot be 
saved. But it is an undeniable fact, that the offer has 
not in the past, and is not now, extended to myriads 
of the heathen world. The difficulty is insuperable. 

To avoid this difficulty, it may be said that the 
heathen who know not the gospel may be saved 
through the benefits of the atonement indirectly ap- 
plied to them. But this supposition is in flat contra- 
diction to the fundamental element of the Arminian 
scheme just signalized — namely, that men must freely 

292 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

accept the offer of salvation in order to experience its 
benefits. Both cannot be true. Which alternative 
will be elected ? If the former, the integrity of the 
Arminian system is sacrificed; if the latter, the salva- 
tion of the heathen is pronounced impossible; and the 
difficulty suggested by goodness re-appears and asserts 
itself in all its formidable force. 

Again, this indirect application of the redeeming 
provision to the heathen must be held to be either not 
saving, or saving. If it be held to be not saving, of 
what use is it? What real benefit does it confer? 
It could not be a measure of goodness, certainly not 
of saving goodness. If it be held to be saving, the 
question must be met. How is it saving? That which 
leads to salvation must lead to holiness. Will it be 
contended that this indirect application of the bene- 
fits of redemption contributes to the holiness of the 
heathen ? Facts contradict so wild an hypothesis. 
What is accomplished ? Not faith in Christ, not re- 
pentance for sin, not godly living. What, then? Are 
the heathen taken to heaven and made partakers of 
its holy fellowship and employments without any 
spiritual preparation for such a change? Surely not. 
It would seem then that no saving benefit is conferred 
upon them by this fancied application of redemption 
indirectly to their case. The truth is, the supposition 
is too extravagant to be gravely supported, or to de- 
serve serious refutation. We have not yet discovered 
the goodness which is manifested to the. heathen 
through the provision of redemption. But let us 
pursue the quest. 

It may be said that as infants may unconsciously 
receive the benefits of atonement and the reeenera- 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 293 

ting grace of the Holy Spirit, tliey being incapable 
of understanding the truth or apprehending the gos- 
pel offer, so may it be with the heathen. But, let us 
know what heathen are meant. Is it heathen infants 
dying in infancy ? That is not denied. But that is 
not the question. The question is in regard to adult 
heathen. If they be put into the category of saved 
infants, then they must be dealt wuth as saved infants 
are dealt with. They must be purged from the guilt 
of original sin and regenerated by the grace of the 
Spirit, and that must be accomplished for them with- 
out their consciousness of the influences exerted upon 
them, or the change of state and character effected, 
and without their active concurrence with the work 
of the Spirit. Is it thus that God deals with adult 
sinners, with fully developed and atrociously wicked 
sinners? Is it thus that he sovereignly saves them 
without any action of their own wnlls? Is it thus 
that Arminians glorify sovereign grace? Verily 
those who would take this ground w^ould out-Calvin 
Calvin in their maintenance of unconditional salva- 
tion. Nor is this the worst of it. These people who 
like infant sinners are justified and regenerated, live 
on as adult sinners, perpetrating crimes which are 
the climax of wickedness, substituting idols in the 
place of the living God, unconscious that they had 
been born again into the kingdom of grace and justi- 
fied by the blood of Christ, or that they had lapsed 
from the possession of these inestimable blessings ! 
And these are the people to whom as to infants dying 
in infancy the provision of redemption is indirectly 
applied ! 

To meet this formidable difficulty growing out of 

294 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisin. 

the consideration that the goodness which made a 
provision of redemption for all men has not pnblished 
the fact to all, it has been maintained that the 
heathen really have access to some knowledge of the 
gospel; for, they live under the patriarchal dispensa- 
tion and have some traditional acquaintance with the 
first promise of redemption for man which was its 
characteristic element. Had this view not beeu 
seriously advocated by a distinguished theologian,^ 
it might be deemed a shadow conjured up merely for 
the sake of argument. A few remarks will be made 
with reference to it: 

In the first place, every dispensation of the gospel, 
except the final, is, from the nature of the case, 
bounded by definite limits. When, in the develop- 
ment of the divine plan, it has accomplished its end, 
it expires by its own limitation. It gives place to 
another, for which it has prepared the way ; another, 
in a measure evolved out of it by an expansion of its 
principles, but also specifically marked off from it by 
new supernatural revelations and new facts and ele- 
ments. When the new begins, the old vanishes — it 
ceases, as a dispensation, to exist. Each dispensa- 
tion of the gospel must be regarded as a special form 
of administration of the covenant of grace. There is 
an essence which is common to all the dispensations. 
It is the saving provisions of the covenant. This 
essential feature passes from one dispensation to 
another. It is a fixed and invariable quantity. But 
there are also specific features which as peculiar to 
each dispensation are accidental and temporary. It 
is these which give to each its cast. When they 

^ Richard Watson. 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 295 

cease, the dispensation as such ceases. Its distinctive 
law is no more operative. The covenant, as to its 
essential provisions, is permanent, but the special 
form of its administration is abrogated, and another 
is substituted in its room. This is the argument of 
the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in the 
seventh and eighth chapters: "If, therefore, perfec- 
tion were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it 
the people received the law,) what further need was 
there that another priest should rise after the order of 
Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of 
Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is 
made of necessity a change also of the law." "For 
if that first covenant had been faultless, then should 
no place have been sought for the second. For find- 
ing fault with them, he saith. Behold, the days come, 
saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant 
with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 
. . . In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath 
made the first old. Now that which decayeth and 
waxeth old is ready to vanish aw^ay." The meaning 
could not be that the covenant of grace as to its es- 
sential features was about to vanish away, but the 
special form in which it had last been administered — 
the Mosaic dispensation. That was decaying and 
waxing old, and was ready to vanish away. 

If the Jew should now claim, because he has the 
knowledge of the Mosaic dispensation, that he is liv- 
ing under it as one in present operation, the Christian 
would reply that he makes a grievous mistake: that 
dispensation, having discharged its typical and tem- 
porary office, has passed away and given place to the 
Christian dispensation. The argument is a fortiori \n 

296 Calzrinism and Evaitgelical A7^m{nianism, 

respect to the Patriarchal dispensation. That, thou- 
sands of years ago, gave way to the Mosaic, as the 
Mosaic has now made room for the Christian. Be- 
tween the time of its abrogation and the present, one 
whole dispensation and part of the history of another 
have intervened. It died, as a dispensation, ages ago. 
To say then that the heathen live under it, is to affirm, 
in the face of facts and inspired testimony alike, its 
present existence and operation. 

But it may be contended that a knowledge of the 
first promise may survive the dispensation which con- 
tained it. If by this is meant a knowledge that there 
was such a promise, who v>^ould deny the proposition ? 
Christians know that such a promise once existed, but 
they also know that the dispensation which contained 
it once existed. Of what value is such historical 
knowledge to the heathen, even if it be supposed that 
they have it? Can it contribute to their salvation? 
But the promise, as such, no longer exists. It has 
been fulfilled, and therefore it necessarily expired. 
How can there be a promise of what has been ? To 
say, then, that the heathen may be saved through a 
knowledge of the first promise, is to say that they 
may be saved through a knowledge of nothing. \i 
they believe that the promise still exists, they believe 
a delusion. Can that save them ? 

So was it with animal sacrifices. They were typi- 
cal promises of the atoning death of Christ. That 
having been accomplished, they necessarily ceased. 
To maintain them still is to deny the past fact of 
Christ's death, and that would be anti-Christian. To 
maintain them in ignorance of the testimony that 
Christ has died, is to maintain senseless and empty 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 297 

rites, which can no longer be types, and therefore 
have no right to exist. The heathen conseqnently 
cannot be led throngh animal sacrifices to a saving 
knowledge of redemption. No knowledge of the 
Patriarchal dispensation and the first promise an- 
nonnced by it, which the heathen may be imagined 
to possess, conld be to them a medinm of salvation. 

In the second place, it is nnsupposable that they 
retain snch knowledge in sufficient degree to make it 
saving. IMnltitndes of the heathen received a knowl- 
edge of the gospel throngh the preaching of the 
apostles, of their contemporary fellow-laborers and of 
the evangelists who succeeded them. But they have 
lost it. What reason is there for supposing that they 
retain a knowledge of the indistinct elements of the 
Patriarchal dispensation, when they have forgotten 
the clearer provisions and the glorious facts of the 
Christian? Is it at all likely that traditions coming 
down from a period hoary with age would survive 
those descending from one more recent? 

But why argue this question? One cannot avoid 
the consciousness that in discussing it he is acting 
uselessly and preposterously. Facts prove that the 
heathen have no such knowledge of the first gospel 
promise as is alleged. No missionary encounters it. 
It is a mere dream that it exists. And the conviction 
that it does not, furnishes a ground for those mission- 
ary labors which Arminian bodies are prosecuting, at 
so great an expenditure of men and means, among 
the heathen tribes of earth. To say that these noble 
efforts find a sufficient reason in the need which the 
heathen have of clearer light than they already pos- 
sess would be to threaten them with extinction. We 

29S Calvtnis77i and Evangelical Arminianism. 

may safely oppose the practical work of Foreign Mis- 
sions to all hypotheses which assume for the heathen 
any knowledge whatsoever of the provisions of the 

To conclude this particular argument: if the heathen 
have not been informed of that provision of redemp- 
tion which, it is contended, was made for all mankind 
and consequently for them, how is that amazing fact 
to be reconciled with divine goodness ? The Armin- 
ian, who has this gigantic difficulty to meet, may well 
refrain from objecting to the Calvinistic doctrine that 
it is inconsistent with the goodness of God. His own 
hands are full. 

Thirdly, it is impossible to prove, that a scheme 
which provides for the possible salvation of all men 
more conspicuously displays the divine goodness than 
one which secures the certain salvation of some men. 
The words, atonement offered for all men, universal 
atonement, Christ died to save all men, Christ died 
for every soul of man, — these words are very attract- 
ive. They seem to breathe a philanthropy which is 
worthy of God. But let us not be imposed upon by 
the beauty or pomp of mere phrases. What is the 
exact meaning of the language ? It is elliptical, and, 
to be understood, must be filled out. The meaning 
is, that atonement was offered for all men, that Christ 
died for all men, merely to make the salvation of all 
men possible: therefore the meaning is not what the 
language appears to imply — namely, that atonement 
was offered for all men to secure their salvation; that 
Christ died to save all men. That is explicitly de- 
nied. It is the heresy of Universalism. Let it be 
noticed — attention is challenged to it — that, upon the 


Objectioji from Divine Goodness. 299 

Arminian scheme, the whole result of the atonement, 
of the death of Christ, of the mission of the Holy 
Ghost, is the sal-ability of all men— the possible sal- 
vation of all. Dispel the glamor from these charm- 
ing words, and that is absolutely all that they mean. 
But let us go on. What precisely is meant by the 
possible salvation of all men ? It cannot mean the 
probable salvation of all men. If it did, the word 
probable yNOwX^ have been used; but facts would have 
contradicted the theory. Not even the Arminian 
would assert the probable salvation of all men, in 
consequence of the atonement. It is then only a pos- 
sible salvation that is intended. Now what makes 
the salvation of all possible? It is granted, that all 
obstacles in the way of any sinner's return to God 
are, on God's side, removed. The Calvinist admits 
that, equally with the Arminian. Where then lies 
the difference? What does the Arminian mean by a 
salvation possible to all ? He means a salvation that 
may be secured, if the human will consent to receive 
it. To give this consent it is persuaded by grace. 
But it is not constrained by grace to give it. It 
holds the decision of the question in its power. It 
may accept the offered salvation; it may not. The 
whole thing is contingent upon the action of the 
sinner's will. This is what makes the salvation of 
all men merely possible; and it inevitably follows 
that the destruction of all men is also possible. 

I shall, with divine help, presently prove that a 
possible salvation, contingent upon the action of a 
sinner's will, is really an impossible salvation. But 
conceding now, for argument's sake, that there is such 
a thing as a merely possible salvation of all men, it is 

300 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

repeated, that it cannot be shown to exhibit the 
beneficence of God one whit more clearly than does 
the certain salvation of some men. Upon the Cal- 
vinistic scheme, the absolnte certainty of the salva- 
tion of countless multitudes of the race is provided 
for; on the Arminian, the certainty of the salvation 
of not one human being is provided for. But let it 
be admitted that although not provided for, yet in 
some way, the final result will in fact prove to be the 
certain salvation of countless multitudes. How can 
the Arminian show that these multitudes will exceed 
in number those which are saved upon the Calvinistic 
scheme? He can not. The human faculties have 
no data upon which they can institute such an equa- 
tion. But until that is shown, it is impossible to see 
how his scheme more signally displays the saving 
goodness of God than the Calvinist's. One thing is 
clear: according to the Calvinistic doctrine, those 
who are saved will praise God's goodness for hav- 
ing saved them; and, according to the Arminian, 
they will praise his goodness for having made it pos- 
sible for them to be saved. Which would be the 
directer tribute to the divine benevolence, it may be 
left to common sense to judge. 

The Arminian, however, if he should candidly 
admit that his scheme labors under the difficulties 
which have been mentioned, will still reply, that it 
has, in regard to goodness, this advantage over the 
Calvinistic: that it makes possible the salvation of 
those whose salvation the Calvinistic scheme makes 
impossible. He charges, that while the Calvinistic 
scheme makes the salvation of some certain, it makes 
the destruction of some equally certain. The one 

Objection frojn Divine Goodness. 301 

scheme opens the door of hope to all; the other 
closes it against some. This, it is contended, cannot 
be shown to consist with the goodness of God. It is 
not intended to deny that this is a difficulty which 
the Calvinistic scheme has to carry. Its adherents 
are sufficiently aware of the awful mystery which 
hangs round this subject, and of the limitations upon 
their faculties, to deter them from arrogantly claim- 
ing to understand the whole case. The difficulty is 
this: If God can, on the ground of the all-sufficient 
merit of Christ, save those who actually perish, why 
does not his goodness lead him to save them? Why, 
if he know that, without his efficacious grace, they 
will certainly perish, does he withhold from them 
that grace, and so seal the certainty of tkeir destruc- 
tion? These solemn questions the Calvinist pro- 
fesses his ability to answer only in the words of our 
l^lessed Lord: "Even so. Father, for so it seemed 
good in thy sight." 

But should the Arminian, professing to decide how 
the Deity should proceed in relation to sinners, use 
this conceded difficulty for the purpose of showing 
that the Calvinist imputes malignity to God, it is fair, 
it is requisite, to prove that he has no right to press 
this objection — that it is incumbent on him to look to 
his own defences. What if it should turn out that he 
is oppressed by a still greater difficulty? 

In the first place, the Evangelical Arminian admits 
that God perfectly forekne.w all that will ever come 
to pass. Consequently, he admits that God foreknew 
what, and how many, human beings will finally per- 
ish. He must also admit that God foreknows that he 
will judge them at the last day, and that what God 

302 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

foreknows he will do on that day, he must have 
eternally purposed to do. The final condemnation, 
therefore, of a definite number of men is absolutely 
certain. The question is not now whether God makes 
it certain. Let us not leave the track. What it is 
asserted the Arminian must admit is, that it is cer- 
tain. Now this is very dififerent from saying that 
God eternally knew that all men would perish, unless 
he should interpose to save them. For he foreknew 
his purpose to make such an interposition in behalf 
of some of the race, and so foreknew the absolute cer- 
tainty of their final salvation. The case before us is, 
not that God knew that those who will actually per- 
ish would perish unless he interposed to save them. 
It is, that he foreknew that they will finally perish. 
But if this must be admitted — that God foreknew 
with certainty that some human beings will be, at 
the last day, adjudged by him to destruction, then 
their destruction is certain. Now we crave to know 
how a provision of redemption which made their sal- 
vation possible can exercise any effect upon their 
destiny. Their destruction is to God's knowledge 
certain. How can the possibility of their salvation 
change that certainty? It cannot. Where, then, is 
the goodness to them of the redeeming provision? It 
is impossible to see. 

Further, how can salvation be possible to those 
who are certain to be lost? How can their salvation 
be possible, if their destruction be certain? There is 
but one conceivable answer: it is, that although God 
foreknew that they zvould be lost, he also foreknew 
that they might be saved. That is to say, there was 
an extrinsic impossibility of their salvation created 

Objectio7i from Divific Goodness. 303 

by God's certain foreknowledge, but an intrinsic 
possibility of their salvation growing out of their 
ability to avail themselves of the provision of redemp- 
tion. It may be pleaded that their case is like that 
of Adam in innocence. God knew that he would 
fall, but he also knew that he might stand. This 
brings us to the next point, and that will take us 
down to one of the fundamental difficulties of the 
Arminian scheme. 

In the second place, a possible salvation would be 
to a sinner an impossible salvation. Mere salvability 
would be to him inevitable destruction. It will be 
admitted, without argument, that a possible salvation 
is not, in itself, an actual salvation. That which 
may be is not that which is. Before a possible can 
become an actual salvation something needs to be 
done — a condition must be performed upon which is 
suspended its passage from possibility to actuality. 
The question is, What is this thing which needs to be 
done — what is this condition which must be fulfilled 
before salvation can become a fact to the sinner? 
The Arminian answer is : Repentance and faith on 
the sinner's part. He must consent to turn from his 
iniquities and accept Christ as his Saviour. The 
further question presses, By what agency does the 
sinner perform this condition — by what power does 
lie repent, believe, and so accept salvation? The 
answer to this question, whatever it may be, must 
indicate the agency, the power, which determines the 
sinner's repenting, believing and so accepting salva- 
tion. It is not enough to point out an agency, a 
power, which is, however potent, merely an auxil- 
iary to the determining cause. It is the determining 

304 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

cause itself that must be given as the answer to the 
question. It must be a factor which renders, by 
virtue of its own energy, the final decision — an effi- 
cient cause which, by its own inherent causality, 
makes a possible salvation an actual and experi- 
mental fact. What is this causal agent which is the 
sovereign arbiter of human destiny? The Arminian 
answer to this last question of the series is, The sin- 
ner's will.^ It is the sinner's will which, in the last 
resort, determines the question whether a possible, 
shall become an actual, salvation. This has already 
been sufficiently evinced in the foregoing remarks. 
But what need is there of argument to prove what 
any one, even slightly acquainted with Arminian 
theology, knows that it maintains? Indeed, it is one 
of the distinctive and vital features of that theology, 
contra-distinguishing it to the Calvinistic. The Cal- 
[vinist holds that the efficacious and irresistible grace 
'of God applies salvation to the sinner; the Arminian, 
that the ijrace of God althoug^h communicated to 
every man is inefficacious and resistible, and that the 
sinner's will uses it as merely an assisting influence 
in determining the final result of accepting a possible 
salvation and so making it actual. Grace does not 
determine the will; the will "improves" the grace 
and determines itself. Grace is the handmaid, the 
sinner's will the mistress. Let us suppose that in 
regard to the question whether salvation shall be 
accepted, there is a perfect equipoise between the 
motions of grace and the contrary inclinations of the 
sinner's will. A very slight added influence will 
destroy the equilibrium. Shall it be from grace or 
' Wesley, Watson, Ila3'moud, et al. 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 305 

from the sinner's will ? If from the former, grace 
determines the question, and the Calvinistic doctrine 
is admitted. But that the Arminian denies. It 
must then be from the sinner's will ; and however 
slight and inconsiderable this added influence of the 
will may be, it determines the issue. It is like the 
feather that alights upon one of two evenly balanced 
scales and turns the beam. 

Moreover, this will of the sinner which discharges 
the momentous office of determining the question of 
salvation is his natural will. It cannot be a gracious 
will, that is, a will renewed by grace ; for if it were, 
the sinner would be already in a saved condition. 
But the very question is, Will he consent to be saved? 
Now if it be not the will of a man already in a saved 
condition, it is the will of a man yet in an unsaved 
condition. It is the will of an unbelieving and un- 
converted man, that is, a natural man, and conse- 
quently must be a natural will. It is this natural 
will, then, which finally determines the question 
whether a possible salvation shall become an actual. 
It is its high office to settle the matter of practical 
salvation. In this solemn business, as in all others, 
it has an irrefragable autonomy. Not even in the 
critical transition from the kingdom of Satan into the 
kingdom of God's dear Son, can it be refused the 
exercise of its sacred and inalienable prerogative of 
contrary choice. At the supreme moment of the 
final determination of the soul "for Christ to live and 
die," the determination mii^^ht be otherwise. The 
will may be illuminated, moved, assisted by grace, 
but not controlled and determined by it. To the 
last it has the power of resisting grace and of success- 

3o6 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

fully resisting it. To it — I use the language re- 
luctantly — the blessed Spirit of God is represented as 
sustaining the attitude of the persuasive orator of 
grace. He argues, he pleads, he expostulates, he 
warns, he beseeches the sinner's will in the melting 
accents of Calvary and alarms it with the thunders of 
judgment — but that is all. He cannot without tres- 
passing upon its sovereignty renew and re-create and 
determine his will. This is no misrepresentation, 
no exaggeration, of the Arminian's position. It is 
what he contends for. It is what he must contend 
for. It is one of the hinges on which his system 
turns. Take it away, and the system swings loosely 
and gravitates to an inevitable fall. 

Now this is so palpably opposed to Scripture and 
the facts of experience, that Evangelical Arminians 
endeavor to modify it, so as to relieve it of the charge 
of being downright Pelagianism. That the attempt 
is hopeless, has already been shown. It is utterly 
vain to say, that grace gives ability to the sinner 
sufficient for the formation of that final volition 
which decides the question of personal salvation. 
Look at it. Do they mean, by this ability, regener- 
ating grace? If they do, as regenerating grace un- 
questionably determines the sinner's will^ they give 
up their position and adopt the Calvinistic. No; 
they affirm that they do not, because the Calvinistic 
position is liable to two insuperable objections: first, 
I that it limits efficacious grace to the elect, denying it 
to others; secondly, that efficacious and determining 
grace would contradict the laws by which the human 
will is governed. It comes back to this, then: that 
notwithstanding this imparted ability, the natural 

Objection from Divine Coodjiess. 307 

will is the factor which determines the actual relation 
of the soul to salvation. The admission of a gracious 
ability, therefore, does not relieve the difficulty. It 
is not an efficacious and determining- influence; it is 
simply suasion. The natural will may yield to it or 
resist it. It is a vincible influence. 

Now this being the real state of the case, according 
to the Arminian scheme, it is perfectly manifest that 
no sinner could be saved. There is no need of argu- 
ment." It is simply out of the question, that the 
sinner in the exercise of his natural will can repent, 
believe in Christ, and so make a possible salvation 
actual. Let it be clearly seen that, in the final settle- 
ment of the question of personal religion, the Armin- 
ian doctrine is, that the will does not decide as de- 
termined by the grace of God, but by its own in- 
herent self-determining power, and the inference, if 
any credit is attached to the statements of Scripture, 
is forced upon us, that it makes the salvation of the 
sinner impossible. A salvation, the appropriation of 
which is dependent upon the sinner's natural will, is 
no salvation; and the Arminian position is that the 
appropriation of salvation is dependent upon the 
natural will of the sinner. The stupendous paradox 
is thus shown to be true — that a merely possible sal- 
vation is an impossible salvation. 

If in reply to this argument the Arminian should 
say, that he does not hold that the merely natural 
will wdiich is corrupt is the final determining agent, 
but that the will makes the final decision by reason 
of some virtue characterizing it, the rejoinder is ob- 
vious: first, this virtue must either be inherent in 
the natural will of the sinner, or be communicated by 

3o8 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

grace. If it be inherent in the natnral will, it is ad- 
mitted that it is the natural will itself, through a 
power r-esident in it, which determines to improve 
communicated grace and appropriate salvation ; and 
that would confirm the charge that the Arminian 
makes the final decision to accept salvation depend 
upon the natural will, which w^ould be to render sal- 
vation impossible. If this virtue in the will which 
determines it to make the final decision be communi- 
cated by grace, it is a part of the gracious ability im- 
parted to the sinner; and then we would have a part 
of this communicated gracious ability improving 
another part — that is, gracious ability improving 
gracious ability. Now this would be absurd on any 
other supposition than that grace is the determining 
agent, and that supposition th^ Arminian rejects. 
iTo state the case briefly : either this virtue in the will 
jwhicli is the controlling element is grace or it is not. 
.'If it be grace, then" grace is the determining element, 
and the Calvinistic doctrine is admitted. If it be not 
grace, then the will by its natural power is the deter- 
mining element, and that is impossible, — it is impos- 
jsible for the natural will, which is itself sinful and 
beeds to be renewed, to determine the question of 
Practical salvation. 

Let us put the matter in a different light. There 
must be some virtue in the natural man to lead him 
to improve grace — to use gracious ability. Now 
whence is this virtue? It must be either from God, 
or from himself. If it be from God, then the cause 
which determines the question of accepting salvation 
-.s from God, and the Calvinistic doctrine is admitted. 
If it be from himself, then it is the natural will which 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 309 

uses the gracious ability, aud determiues the appro- 
priatiou of salvation; and that is impossible. 

Further, the Arminian must admit either that the 
will makes the final decision in consequence of some 
virtue in it, or that it makes it without all virtue. If 
in consequence of some virtue, then as that virtue is 
distinguished from the grace it uses, it is merely 
natural, and the natural will is affirmed to be virtuous 
enough to decide the all-important question of salva- 
tion; which is contrary to the doctrine, maintained 
by Evangelical Arminians, that the natural man is 
depraved, and destitute of saving virtue. If the will 
makes the final decision without all virtue, then the 
natural will, as sinful, improves grace to the salva- 
tion of the soul, which is absurd and impossible. 
The Arminian is shut up to admit that it is the 
natural will of the sinner which improves grace and 
determines the question of personal salvation ; and it 
is submitted, that such a position makes salvation 

There is another mode of showing that, according 
to the distinctive principles of the Arminian system, 
salvation is impossible. The Scriptures unquestion- 
ably teach that salvation is. by grace: "By grace ye 
are saved. "^ Not only so, but with equal clearness 
they teach that none can be saved except by grace; 
that no sinner can save himself: "Not by works of 
righteousness wdiich we have done, but according to 
his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regenera- 
tion and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed 
on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 
that being justified by his grace, we should be made 

1 Hub. ii. 5, S. 

3IO Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

heirs according to the hope of eternal life."^ There 
is no need to argue this point, since it is admitted by 
Evangelical Arminians as well as by Calvinists. 
Their common doctrine is that no sinner can save 
himself. If his salvation depended upon his saving 
himself it would be impossible. But the distinctive 
doctrines of Arniinianism — the doctrines which dis- 
tinguish it from Calvinism — necessitate the inference 
that the sinner saves himself. This inference is ille- 
gitimate, the Arminian contends, because he holds 
that had not Christ died to make salvation possible 
and were not the Holy Spirit imparted to induce the 
sinner to embrace it, no man could be saved. This, 
however, is no proof of the illegitimacy of the infer- 
ence from his doctrine that the sinner is after all his 
own saviour. The proof of the legitimacy of the 
inference is established in this way: According to 
Arniinianism, sufficient grace is imparted to all men. 
-Every man has, consequently, sufficient ability to 
repent, believe and embrace salvation. This suffi- 
cient grace or ability, therefore, is common to all 
men. But that it does not determine all men to be 
saved is proved by the fact that some are not saved. 
This the Arminian holds. Now, wdiat makes the 
difference between the saved and the unsaved? Why 
is one man saved and another not saved? The 
answer to these questions is of critical importance 
and it must be rendered. What answer does the 
Arminian return? This: The reason is, that one 
man determines to improve the common grace and 
^another does not. He cannot hold that grace makes 
the difference, for grace is the common possession of 

1 Tit. iii. 5-7. 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 311 

both. The specific difference of their cases is the 
respective determinations of their own wills, nnde- 
terniined by grace. He therefore who determines to 
use the common gift cannot be saved by it, but by 
his determination to use it. If it be not that which 
saves him, but the grace itself, then all who have the 
grace would be saved by it equally with him. No, it 
is not grace which saves him, but his use of grace.^ 
And as he might have determined not to use it, it is 
manifest that he is saved by the exercise of his own 
will; in other words that he saves himself The 
saving factor is his will; he is his own saviour. 
This is made still plainer by asking the question, 
Why is another not saved, but ruined? He had the 
same sufficient grace with him who is saved. His 
own determination not to use it, it will be said, is 
the cause of his ruin — he therefore ruins himself 
In the same way precisely the determination of the 
saved man to use it is the cause of his salvation — he, 
therefore, saves himself Granted, that he could not 
be saved without grace; still, grace only makes his 
salvation possible. He must make it a fact; and 
bevond controversy, he who makes his salvation a 
fact accomplishes his salvation. He saves himself 

This reasoning conclnsively evinces it to be a nec- 
essarv consequence from the distinctive doctrines of 
Arminianism, that sinners are not saved by grace but 
by themselves in the use of grace ; and as that posi- 
tion contradicts the plainest teachings of Scripture, 
the system which necessitates it makes salvation im- 

To all this it will be replied, that the ability con- 
ferred by grace pervades the will itself, and enables, 

312 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

although it does not determine, it to make the final 
and saving decision. But this by no means mends 
the matter. Let it be admitted that the will is 
enabled by grace to decide ; if it is not determined 
by it to the decision, then it follows that there is 
something in the will different from the gracious 
ability, which uses that ability in determining the 
result. What is that different element? It cannot 
be a gracious power. To admit that would be to 
contradict the supposition and to give up the ques- 
tion ; for in that case it would be grace which de- 
termines the decision. What can that be which 
differs from the gracious ability conferred and uses it, 
but the natin^al power of the sinner's will? But his 
will, apart from grace, is sinful and therefore dis- 
abled. So the Arminian admits. How, then, can a 
disabled thing use enabling grace? How can it de- 
termine to use that grace? Over and beyond the 
enabling power there is postulated a determining 
power. The enabling power is grace ; over and be- 
yond it is the determining power of the sinful will. 
The thing is inconceivable. Sin cannot use grace ; 
inability cannot use ability ; the dead cannot de- 
termine to use life. To say then that grace is in- 
fused into the will itself to enable it to form the final 
volition, which makes a possible salvation actual, 
does not remove the difficulty. If it does not de- 
termine the will, the wuU determines itself The 
very essence of that self-determination is to use or not 
to use the enabling grace, and therefore must be 
something different from that grace. The determina- 
tion is not from grace, but from nature. Again the 
impossibility of salvation is reached. A doctrine 

Objection from Divine Goodness, 313 

which assigns to grace a merely enabling influence, 
and denies it a determining power, makes the salva- 
tion of a sinner impossible. To say to a sinner, Use 
the natural strength of your will in determining to 
avail yourself of grace, would be to say to him, You 
cannot be saved. For if he answered from the 
depths of his consciousness, he would groan out the 
response, Alas, I have no such strength ! 

The truth is, that a thorough examination of the 
anthropology of the Arminian discloses the fact that, 
in the last analysis, it is not essentially different from 
that of the Socinian and Pelagian. It is cheerfully 
conceded that the Arminian soteriology is different 
from the Socinian and Pelagian. For the former 
professedly holds that the atonement of Christ was '. 
vicarious and that it rendered a perfect satisfaction to 
the retributive justice of God. But, according to it, 
the atonement did not secure salvation as a certain 
result to any human beings ; and when it comes to 
the question how the sinner practically avails himself 
of the salvation made only possible to all, the Armin- 
ian answers it by saying, that the sinner in the exer- 
cise of his own self-determining power, which from 
its nature is contingent in its exercise, makes sal va-' 
tion his own. The connection between his soul and 
redemption is effected by his own decision, in the 
formation of which he is conscious that he might act 
otherwise — that he might make" a contrary choice.. 
There is no real difference between this position and 
that of the Socinian and Pelagian. The Arminian 
professes to attach more importance than they to the 
influence of supernatural grace, but, in the last resort, 
like them he makes the natural power of the sinner's 

314 Calvinis7n and Evangelical Ainninianism. 

will the determining cause of personal salvation. 
Every consideration, therefore, which serves to show 
the impossibility of salvation upon the anthropologi- 
cal scheme of Socinianism and Pelagianism leads to 
the conclusion that the same consequence is enforced 
by that of Arminianisni. In both schemes it is 
nature, and not grace, which actually saves. 

Still further, the distinctive doctrines of Arminian- 
isni not only make salvation impossible by denying 
i that it is by grace, but also by implying that it is by 
works. Not that it is intended to say that Armin- 
ians in so many words affirm this. On the contrary, 
they endeavor to show that their system is not liable 
to this charge. We have, however, to deal with 
their system and the logical consequences which it 
involves. The question is. Do the peculiar tenets of 
the Arminian scheme necessitate the inference that 
salvation is by works? I shall attempt to prove that 
they do. ■ 

It must be admitted that a system, one of the dis- 
tinctive doctrines of which is that sinners are in a 
state of legal probation, affirms salvation by works. 
The essence of a legal probation is that the subject of 
moral government is required to render personal 
obedience to law in order to his being justified. It is 
conceded on all hands that Adam's probation was of 
such a character. He was required to produce a 
legal obedience. Had it been produced it would 
have been his own obedience. It makes no differ- 
ence that he was empowered to render it by sufficient 
grace. A righteousness does not receive its denom- 
ination from the source in which it originates, but 
from its nature and the end which it ©ontem relates. 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 315 

Had Adam stood, he would have been enabled by 
grace to produce obedience, but it would have been 
his own obedience, and it would have secured justi- 
fication on its own account. 

Now it will not be denied that Arminian divines 
assert that men are now in a state of probation. It 
wouia be unnecessary to adduce proof of this. They 
contend that, in consequence of the atonement offered 
by Christ for the race, all men become probationers. 
A chan^e_is given them to secure salvation. The 
onlv'question is, whether the probation which Ar- 
minians affirm for sinners be a legal probation. That 
it is, mav be proved by their own statements. If 
they take the ground that the obedience to divine re- 
quirements may be rendered through the ability con- 
ferred bv grace, and therefore the probation is not 
legal, the answer is obvious : the obedience exacted 
of\dam he was enabled by grace to render ; but not- 
withstanding that fact, his probation was legal. 
That men now have grace enabling them to render 
obedience cannot disprove the legal character of their 


The argument has ramified into details, but it has 
not wandered from the thing to be proved, to wit, 
that a possible salvation is an impossible salvation. 
All the consequences which have been portrayed as 
damaging to the Arminian theory of a merely pos- 
sible "salvation flow logically from the fundamental 
position that sufficient ability is given to every man 
to make such a merely possible salvation actual to 
himself. One more consideration will be presented, 
and it goes to the root of the matter. It is, that this 
ability which is affirmed to be sufficient to enable 

3i6 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

every man to make a possible salvation actual is, 
according to Arminian showing, itself a sheer im- 
possibility. This may be regarded as an extra- 
ordinary assertion, but it is susceptible of proof as 
speedy as it is clear. The Evangelical Arminian not 
only admits the fact, but contends for it, that every 
man in his natural, fallen condition is spiritually 
dead — is dead in trespasses and sins. The problem 
for him to solve is, How can this spiritually dead 
man make his possible salvation an actual salvation? 
It must not be done by the impartation to him of 
efficacious and determining grace, for to admit that 
would be to give up the doctrine of a possible salva- 
tion and accept that of a decreed and certain salva- 
tion. Nor must it be done by regenerating grace, for 
two difficulties oppose that supposition : lirst, this 
regenerating grace would necessarily be efficacious 
and determining grace ; and secondly, it could not 
with truth be maintained that every man is regen- 
erated. A degree of grace, therefore, which is short 
of regenerating grace, must be conferred upon every 
man. What is that? Sufficient grace — that is to 
say, a degree of grace imparting ability sufficient to 
enable every man to make a possible salvation actu- 
ally his own. Now, the argument is short : a degree 
of o:race which does not res^enerate, would be a deq-ree 
of grace which w^ould not bestow life upon, the 
spiritually dead sinner. If it did infuse spiritual life 
it would of course be regenerating grace ; but it is 
denied to be regenerating grace. No other grace 
would be sufficient for the dead sinner but regenerat- 
ing or life-giving grace. How could grace enable the 
dead sinner to perform living functions — to repent, 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 317 

to believe in Christ, to embrace salvation — without 
first giving him life? In a word, sufficient grace 
which is not regenerating grace is a palpable im- 
possibility. An ability sufficient to enable the dead 
sinner to discharge living functions but not sufficient 
to make him live, is an impossibility. The Ar-^ 
minian is therefore shut up to a choice between two/ 
alternatives: either, he must confess sufficient grace 
to be regenerating grace, and then he abandons his 
doctrine; or, he must maintain that grace is suffi-' 
cient for a dead sinner which does not make him 
live, and then he asserts an impossibility. 

If to this the Arminian reply, that the functions 
which sufficient grace enables the sinner to perform 
are not functions of spiritual life, it follows: first, 
that he contradicts his own position that grace im- 
parts a degree of spiritual life to every man; and, 
secondly, that he maintains that a spiritually dead 
man discharges functions which cause him to live, 
which is infinitely absurd. 

If, finally, he reply, that sufficient grace is life- 
giving and therefore regenerating grace, but that it is 
not efficacious, and does not determine the fact of the 
sinner's salvation, the rejoinder is obvious: No spirit- 
ually dead sinner can possibly be restored to life 
except by union with Jesus Christ, the source of 
spiritual life. To deny that position is to deny 
Christianity. But if that must be admitted, as union 
with Christ determines the present salvation of the 
sinner, sufficient grace which gives life determines 
the question of present salvation. Sufficient grace 
gives life by uniting the sinner to Christ, and union 
with Christ is salvation. Sufficient grrace which is 

3i8 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

conceded to be regenerating, is therefore necessarily 
efficacions and determining, grace. 

We are now prepared to estimate the force of the 
analogy which, under a preceding head, it was sup- 
posed that the Arminian may plead between the case 
of the sinner and that of Adam. Our first father had 
sufficient grace, but it was not efficacious grace. It 
did not determine his standing. It rendered it pos- 
sible for him to stand, but it did not destroy the pos- 
sibility of his falling. He had sufficient ability to 
perform holy acts; nevertheless, it was possible for 
him to sin. In like manner, it may be said, the 
sinner, in his natural condition, has sufficient grace, 
but not efficacious grace. It renders it possible for 
him to accept salvation, but it does not destroy 
the possibility of his rejecting it. He has suffi- 
cient ability to repent and believe; yet, notwith- 
standing this, he may continue impenitent and unbe- 

I admit the fact that Adam had sufficient o-race to 
enable him to stand in' holiness, and that it was pos- 
sible for him either to stand or fall ; but I deny that 
there is any real analogy between his case and that 
of the unregenerate sinner. It breaks down at a 
point of the most vital consequence. That point is 
the presence or absence of spiritual life. Adam, in 
innocence, was possessed of spiritual life — he was, 
spiritually considered, wholly alive. There was not 
imparted to him — to use an Arminian phrase — "a 
degree of spiritual life." Life reigned in all his 
faculties. There was no element of spiritual death in 
his being which was to be resisted and which in turn 
opposed the motions of spiritual life. Now let it 

Objection from Divine Goodness. 3 1 9 

even be supposed, with the Arniinian, that a degree 
of spiritual life is given to the spiritually dead sinner, 
and it would necessarily follow that there is a degree 
of spiritual death which still remains in him. What 
conceivable analogy could exist between a being 
wholly alive spiritually and one partly alive and 
partly dead spiritually? What common relation to 
grace could be predicated of them? How is it pos- 
sible to conceive that grace which would be sufficient 
for a wholly living man would also be sufficient for a 
partly dead man? Take then the Arminian concep- 
tion of the case of the sinner in his natural condition, 
and it is obvious that there is no real analogy between 
it and that of Adam in innocence. 

But it has already been shown that the impartation 
by grace of a degree of spiritual life to the sinner 
which does not involve his regeneration is impossible. 
Whatever grace and ability the Arminian may claim 
for the sinner, if it fall short of regenerating grace, if 
it does not quicken him in Christ Jesus, no life is 
conuniuiicated by it. The sinner is still dead in 
trespasses and sins. The communicated grace may 
instruct him, but it does not raise him from the dead 
— it is didactic, but not life-giving. It is the suasion 
of oratory, not the energy of life. It operates upon 
the natural faculties and becomes a motive to the 
natural will. But it is precisely the natural will, 
pervaded by spiritual death, which must decide 
whether or not it will appropriate the spiritual in- 
ducements and make them its own. In a word, a 
dead man must determine whether he will yield to 
the persuasion to live or not. 

The Arminian theory defies comprehension. To 

320 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

hold that sinners are not spiritually dead is to accept 
the Pelao^ian and Socinian heresy that the natural 
man is able to do saving works. This the Evangeli- 
cal Arminian denies. He admits that the sinner is 
spiritually dead, and that in his own strength he can 
do no saving work. What then does grace accom- 
plish for the sinner, for every sinner? The hypothe- 
sis put forth in answer to this question is a plait of 
riddles which no ingenuity can disentangle. First, 
the sinner is spiritually dead. Then, "a degree of 
spiritual life" is imparted to him enabling him to 
discharge spiritually living functions. Well then — 
one would of course infer — the sinner is now spirit- 
ually alive: he is regenerated, he is born again. No, 
says the Arminian, only "a portion of spiritual death 
is removed from him:"^ he is not yet regenerated. 
What then can sufficient grace be but the degree of 
spiritual life which is communicated to the sinner? 
But this grace — this degree of spiritual life he is to 
improve. He may do so or he may refuse to do so. 
If he improve it, it follows that as spiritually dead 
he improves spiritual life, and what contradiction can 
be greater than that? If that is denied, it must be 
supposed, that as spiritually alive he improves this 
grace — this spiritual life, and then it would follow 
that as he may resist it, he would, as spiritually aliv^e 
resist spiritual life, which is absurd. What other 
supposition can be conceived, unless it be this: that 
he acts at the same time as equally dead and alive — 
that death and life co-operate in producing saving 
results, or in declining to produce them? But that 
is so absurd that no intelligent mind W'Ould tolerate 
^ Watson. 


Objection from Divine Goodness, 321 

it. Will it be said, that if he improve spiritual life 
he does it as spiritually alive, and if he resist it, he 
does it as spiritually dead? That would suppose 
that, in the case of successful resistance, spiritual 
death is too strong for spiritual life and overcomes it. 
How then could the vanquished life be said to be 
sufficient, or the insufficient grace to be sufficient 
grace? The spiritual life imparted is unable to over- 
come the spiritual death still existing, and yet it con- 
fers sufficient ability upon the sinner. The Armin- 
ian hypothesis is susceptible of no other fair con- 
struction than this: that the sinner, as spiritually 
dead, improves the degree of life given him by grace; 
that, as impenitent and unbelieving, he, by the 
exercise of his natural will, uses the imparted ability 
to repent and believe. Such ability is just no ability 
at all; for there is no power that could use it. It is 
like giving a crutch to a man lying on his back with 
the dead palsy, or like putting a bottle of aqua vit{B 
in the coffin with a corpse. 

Let us put the case in another form : The Ar- 
minian holds that the sinner is spiritually dead and 
consequently unable to do anything to save himself. 
But a degree of spiritual life is imparted to him to 
enable him to embrace salvation offered to him. It 
follows that now the sinner is neither wholly dead 
nor Wholly alive : he is partly dead and partly alive. 
Now, either, first, his dead part uses his living part;/ 
or, secondly, his living part uses his dead part ; or, 
thirdly, his living part uses itself and his dead part 
uses itself; or, fourthly, his living part uses both the 
living and dead part ; or, fifthly, the living and dead 
part co-operate. The first supposition is inconceiv- 

322 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

able ; for death cannot use life. The second supposi- 
tion violates the Arminian doctrine that it is life 
which is to be used, not life which uses death ; and 
further, how is it possible for life to use death in per- 
forming saving functions? The third supposition 
involves the concurrent but contradictory acting of 
life and death, neither being dominant, so that the 
sinner e\xr remains partly alive and partly dead. No 
salvation is reached. The fourth supposition in- 
volves the causal and determining influence of the 
life imparted by grace, and, therefore, the abandon- 
ment of the Arminian and the adoption of the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine ; for the whole man would be ruled 
by the life-giving grace. The fifth supposition is 
impossible ; for it is impossible that life and death 
can co-operate to secure salvation. 

Let the Arminian account of the unconverted sin- 
ner's condition be viewed in every conceivable way, 
and it is evident that there is no analogy between it 
and that of Adam in innocence. The sufficient grace 
or ability of the two cases is entirely different. In 
one case, there was total spiritual life, in the other 
there is partial spiritual life and partial spiritual 
death. They cannot be reduced to unity, nor can 
even similarity be predicated of them. Justification 
was possible to Adam, for, as a being totally alive, he 
had sufficient ability to secure it ; but salvation, ac- 
cording to the Arminian supposition, is impossible to 
the sinner, for as a being partly dead, he has no suffi- 
cient ability to embrace it. It has already been con- 
clusively shown that grace, to confer ability upon the 
spiritually dead, cannot be anything less than re- 
generating grace ; and the bestowal of that upon the 


Objection from Divine Goodness. 323 

sinner, previonsly to his repentance and faith, the 
Arniinian denies. An appeal to Adam's ability, in 
order to snpport the hypothesis of the snfficient 
ability of the unregenerate sinner, cannot avail to 
redeem that hypothesis from the charge of making a 
merely possible salvation impossible. 

Let ns now return for a moment to the argument 
employed under the preceding head. It was argued 
that God's foreknowledge, as conceded by the Arniin- 
ian, that a definite number of human beings wnll be 
condemned at the last day, involves the absolute cer- 
tainty of their condemnation, and that what God will 
do on that day he must have eternally purposed to 
do. How, it was asked, can the Arminian show 
that this certainty of the destruction of some men is 
consistent with the possibility of their salvation? 
It was supposed that in his attempt to show this, he 
might contend that although the divine foreknowl- 
edge created an extrinsic impossibility of their salva- 
tion — that is, an impossibility apprehended in the 
divine mind, yet there is an intrinsic possibility of 
their salvation — that is, a possibility growing out of 
their own relations to the scheme of redemption, and 
their ability to avail themselves of them. In short, 
he might contend that although God foreknows that 
some men will be lost, he also foreknows that these 
same men anight be saved ; and to fortify that view, 
he might appeal to the analogy of the case of Adam, 
the certainty of whose fall God foreknew, but the 
possibility of whose standing, so far as his intrinsic 
ability was concerned, he also foreknew. It has now 
been proved that there is no analogy between Adam's 
sufficient ability and that which the Arminian 

324 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

vainly arrogates for the unregenerate sinner; and 
that on the contrary, on the Arminian's own prin- 
ciples, the unregenerate sinner is endowed with no 
sufficient ability to appropriate a merely possible sal- 
vation. Upon those principles, therefore, at the 
same time that God foreknows the certainty of some 
men's destruction, he also foreknows the intrinsic im- 
possibility of their salvation. The Arminian, conse- 
quently, has the case of the finally lost to harmonize 
with divine goodness, as well as the Calvinist, and is 
logically restrained from attacking the Calvinistic 
doctrine because of its alleged inconsistency with that 
attribute. The charge recoils, indeed, with redoubled 
force upon himself, for while the Calvinistic doctrine 
provides for the certain salvation of some men, his 
doctrine makes the salvation of any man impossible. 
A scheme which professes to make the salvation of 
every man possible, but really makes the salvation of 
any man impossible, is not one which can glory in 
being peculiarly consistent with the goodness of God. 
The x\rminian impeaches the doctrine of uncondi- 
tional election for representing God as worse than the 
devil, more false, more cruel, more unjust. ^ No 
recourse has been had to declamatory recrimination ; 
but it has been proved by cold-blooded argument that 
the distinctive principles of Arminianism, in making 
the application of redemption to depend upon the 
self-determining power of a dead man's will, make 
the actual salvation of any sinner a sheer impossibil- 
ity. How such a scheme magnifies the goodness of 
God can only be conceived by those who are able to 
comprehend how a dead man can use the means of 
^ Wesley's sermon on Free Grace. 

Objection from Divine Wisdom. 325 

life. The love of the Father in giving his Son, the 
love of the Son in obeying, suffering, dying for the 
salvation of sinners, the mission of the eternal Spirit 
to apply a salvation purchased by blood, — all this in- 
finite wealth of means depends for efficacy upon the 
decision of a sinner's will, a decision which, without 
regenerating and determining grace, must, in accord- 
ance with the law of sin and death, be inevitably 
rendered against its employment. 

The proposition will no doubt have been regarded 
as extraordinary, but it is now repeated as a conclu- 
sion established by argument, that a merely possible 
salvation such as the Arminian scheme enounces is to 
a sinner an impossible salvation. When the argument 
has been convicted of inconclusiveness, it may be 
time to resort to the weapons of the vanquished — 
strong and weighty words. 

The objection against the Calvinistic doctrines of 
election and reprobation that they are inconsistent 
with the goodness of God has now been examined, 
and it has been shown, first, that it is inapplicable, 
and secondly, that the Arminian is not the man to 
render it. 


The next objection which will be considered is de- 
rived from the wisdom of God. It may be stated in 
the words of Richard Watson : "The doctrine of the 
election to eternal Tife only of a certain determinate 
number of men, involving, as it necessarily does, the 
doctrine of the absolute and unconditional reproba- 
tion of all the rest of mankind, cannot, we may con- 
fidently affirm, be reconciled ... to the wisdom of 

326 Calviiiisjji and Evangelical Arniinianisni, 

God ; for the bringing into being a vast number of 
intelligent creatures under a necessity of sinning, and 
of being eternally lost, teaches no moral lesson to the 
world ; and contradicts all those notions of wisdom 
in the ends and processes of government which we 
are taught to look for, not only from (sic) natural 
reason, but from the Scriptures." ^ 

After what has been said in exposition of the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine, it cannot fail to be observed that 
there is here a positive misrepresentation of that doc- 
trine ; and that in two respects. In the first place, 
when the decree of reprobation is represented as 
"absolute and unconditional," it is meant to imply 
that it just as efficaciously determines the sin and de- 
struction of some men as the decree of election does 
the holiness and salvation of others. It has already 
been shown that even the Supralapsarians do not 
profess to hold such a view, and that it is expressly 
denied in the Calvinistic Confessions, and by the 
Sublapsarians, who constitute the vast majority of 
the Calvinistic body. In the second place, the state- 
ment is incorrect that the Calvinistic doctrine main- 
tains that God brought into being a vast number of 
intelligent creatures under the necessity of sinning 
and of being eternally lost. The common teaching 
of the Calvinistic Churches, as embodied in their 
Confessions and Catechisms, is that Adam might have 
stood in innocence and secured justification for him- 
self and his posterity, who were represented by him 
nnder the covenant of works. And although some 
Calvinistic theologians have advocated Necessitarian- 
ism, it would be impossible to show that it has been 
^ Theo. Ifist., vol. ii., p. 341. 


Objection from Divine Wisdom. 327 

taught in the Calvinistic Symbols. Nor have the 
body of Calvinistic divines affirmed the view that, in 
the first instance, man was under any necessity of 
sinning. The doctrine which, in the foregoing quo- 
tation, is pronounced inconsistent with the divine 
wisdom is not the Calvinistic doctrine, and therefore 
I do not feel called upon to vindicate it from excep- 
tions. Leaving the Necessitarian to answer for his 
own position, I propose briefly to show, first, that the 
Calvinistic doctrine is not inconsistent with the 
wisdom of God, and, secondly, that the Arminian 
doctrine is. 

The wisdom of God is that attribute by which he 
selects ends and adopts the fittest and most effectual 
means to secure them. Now according to the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine, God in dealing with the race of 
human sinners proposed to himself these ends: the 
glorification of his grace in the salvation of some, and 
the glorification of his justice in the punishment of 
others. In order to secure the first of these ends, he 
determined to elect some of the mass of fallen, cor- 
rupt and hell-deserving men to be everlastingly 
saved, and in pursuance of that purpose, gave his 
Son to obey his violated law in his life and death as 
their substitute and so to render perfect satisfaction 
to justice for their sins, and then imparts to them his 
Spirit to unite them to their federal Head, to deter- 
mine them to holy obedience, and to cause them to 
persevere to the attainment of heavenly felicity. 
What fitter and more effectual means can be imagined 
than these to secure the proposed end — namely, the 
glorification of divine grace in the salvation of sin- 
ners? There is a precise adaptation of the means to 

328 Calvinism and Evangelical Arfninianism. 

the end, and no possible contingency in regard to the 
result. Where is the inconsistency with divine wis- 
dom in this procedure? Does it not illustrate tliat 

In order to secure the second of these ends, to wit, 
the glorification of his justice in the punishment of 
sinners, God determined to leave some of the fallen, 
corrupt and hell -deserving mass under the just sen- 
tence of his violated law, and ordained them to con- 
tinue under the condemnation which they had mer- 
ited by their sin. The question is not now whether 
that end were worthy of God. That question has 
alreadv been discussed. But assumino^ that he did 
propose to himself such an end, it cannot be denied 
that the means were exactly suited to secure it. So 
far from there being a want of wisdom in tliis pro- 
cedure, a clear exemplification of it is furnished. 

But let us take Mr. Watson^s conception of the 
divine wisdom. The office which he signalizes as 
discharged by it is to teach moral lessons to the 
world. The operation of the decrees which Calvin- 
ists ascribe to God is inconsistent with wisdom, he 
contends, because it teaches no moral lesson to the 
world. Surely the bestowal of the unmerited and 
transcendent blessing of eternal life upon some sin- 
ners of the human race, while others are left to per- 
ish, is suited to impress upon its recipients a lesson 
of gratitude which they will never forget through 
the everlasting ages. The determination to inflict 
condign punishment upon some members of the guilty 
race is adapted to teach the world the dreadful evil of 
sin and the fearfulness of falling into the hands of the 
living God. Is not the retention of some sinners in 

Objeclion from Diviite Wisdom. 329 

the liands of vindicatory justice, while others are dis- 
charged through the obedience of a substitute, also 
fitted to deter all intelligent beings from tampering 
with tlie temptation to revolt against the government 
of God? If the consistency with w-isdom of any 
measures is to be collected from their fitness to im- 
part valuable moral lessons, the decrees of election 
and reprobation, as represented by Calvinists, must 
be pronounced eminently consistent with that attri- 

In the passage which has been cited it is also 
declared that the decrees of election and reprobation, 
as conceived by Calvinists, would, in their execution, 
contradict the ends of a wise government, so far as 
they can be ascertained from reason and Scripture. 
Let us test the allegation. The ends which it is 
usual to ascribe to a wise government are : first, the 
vindication of justice ; secondly, the prevention of 
crime and the consequent protection of society ; and 
thirdly, the reformation of offenders. The execution 
of the decree of reprobation upon the inexcusable 
violators of the divine law certainly vindicates the 
justice of God. It, therefore, is adapted to secure 
the first end of a wise government. The execution 
of the decrees of election and reprobation tends to the 
prevention of sin, — that of election by engendering 
and maintaining in its objects the love of holiness 
and the hatred of wickedness ; that of reprobation by 
infusing the dread of sin into all beholders of its de- 
served and terrible punishment. The execution of 
these decrees is, consequently, adapted to promote 
the second end of a wise government. 

It w^ould be folly to assert that the third end — 

330 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniiniajiisni, 

namely, the reformation of offenders, is alzvays sought 
by a wise government. In some cases it is, in others 
it is not. The swift execution of a murderer cannot 
be regarded as a measure looking to his reformation-, 
unless destroying his life may be considered as a 
means of his living better; and sending him out of 
the world may be contemplated as qualifying him to 
discharge his duties in the world. The decree of elec- 
tion proposes the reformation of offenders and secures 
it, and therefore promotes the third end of a wise gov- 
ernment. The decree of reprobation no more con- 
templates this end than does the sentence of human 
law which adjudges a flagrant criminal to summary 
execution. And it deserves to be solemnly consid- 
ered that every sin against God deserves the prompt 
execution of soul and body. Who among the ortho- 
dox would take the ground that the incarceration of 
the fallen angels in hell was a reformatory measure? 
If, then, God inflict the same doom upon some 
human sinners, it is obvious that he could not con- 
template their reformation as an end. Enough has 
been said to evince the unjustifiableness of the allega- 
tion, that the execution of the decrees of election and 
reprobation, as conceived by Calvinists, would con- 
tradict the ends which a wise government proposes to 

Let us next inquire whether the Axminian concep- 
tion of the plan of salvation be not inconsistent with 
wisdom. On account of the inexact and confused 
phraseology of the iVrminian theology in its statements 
concerning the plan of redemption, we are obliged in 
order to a thorough discussion of the question in 
hand to make two suppositions. Either, it is the 

Objection from Divine Wisdom, 331 

Anninian doctrine that God proposed as an end the 
salvation of the whole race, or it is that he proposed 
as an end the salvability of the whole race. 

Let ns take the first snpposition — namely, that the 
end which God proposed to secnre was the salvation 
of the whole race. We are jnstified in making this 
snpposition, becanse Arminians constantly and ve- 
hemently affirm that Christ died to save all men, and 
becanse they denounce any other doctrine as utterly 
unscriptnral and as dishonoring the character of the 
blessed God. It must be admitted that if the end 
proposed to be accomplished had been the salvation 
of all men, it would have been one characterized by 
infinite wisdom. No objection is now^ urged against 
the possible consistency of such an end with the 
divine wisdom. But assuming, according to the first 
supposition, that such was the end selected, the 
question necersarily arises, Are the means, which the 
Arminian holds to have been adopted, fitted to secure 
its accomplishment? If not, the wisdom of the plan 
breaks dowm in the selection of the means. What, 
then, are the means which, according to the Armin- 
ian statement, were selected to achieve the end? 
The atonement of Christ offered for the sins of every 
man, the grace of the Holy Ghost imparted to every 
man to enable him to avail himself of the merit of 
Christ, and the undetermined and self-determining 
action of the sinner's will in improving the ability 
conferred by grace and embracing the ofifered salva- 
tion. Now, according to the Arminian doctrine, the 
attainment of the end, to wit, the salvation of all men 
is, from the nature of the case, contingent — that is, it 
may or may not take place; for, it is conditioned upon 

332 Calvinism and Evangelical A^^niinianism, 

the undetermined and contingent action of every 
man's will. It must, therefore, be granted by the 
Arminian himself that there could be, from the very 
nature of the means employed, no certainty as to the 
attainment of the proposed end. And facts abund- 
antly prove this to be true; for all men are not actu- 
ally saved. The Arminian is not a Universalist, but 
admits this fact — that some men are lost. The ques- 
tion is, how can he vindicate the wisdom employed 
in the selection of means which fail to accomplish 
the proposed end? The end is the salvation of the 
race. That fails. Why ? Because the means 
adopted are inadequate to secure it. There could 
therefore be no wisdom in the selection of the means. 
Let us take the second supposition. The Arminian 
may contend that he does not represent the end to be 
the actual salvation of all men, but their possible sal- 
vation — not their salvation, but their salvability. We 
are then entitled to say to him: If that be your view, 
in the name of consistency, you are required to change 
your phraseology. Instead of saying what you do not 
mean — namely, that Christ died for the salvation of 
all men, say what you do mean — namely, that Christ 
died for the salvability of all men. Instead of saying 
what you do not mean — that men are saved by grace, 
say what you do mean — that men save themselves by 
improving grace. Instead of saying what you do not 
mean — that men by believing in Christ enjoy salva- 
tion in the present life, say what 3^ou do mean — that 
men enjoy salvability in the present life, and may en- 
joy salvation in the future life. Square your terms 
with )'our doctrine, that men may understand pre- 
cisely what it is, and may no longer be deceived by 
the "imposture of words." 

Objection from Divine Wisdom. 333 

But let it be supposed that the eud which the Ar- 
miniau attributes to God is the possible salvatiou of 
all men ; and the doctrine is impeachable because it 
ascribes to the div'ine scheme of redemption no ele- 
ment of wisdom. There would be no wisdom in the 
selection of the end; for a possible salvation is no sal- 
vation, can be no salvation. Unless God make the 
salvation of the dead certain, they must forever lie 
dead. A possible salvation of the dead apart from 
their actual salvation by the power of God immedi- 
ately and miraculously exerted upon them is an im- 
possible salvation. Is the possible salvation of the 
spiritually dead an end to be ascribed to divine wis- 
dom ? There could be no wisdom in the selection of 
the means. There is no wisdom in the adoption of 
means to secure an impossible end. Worse than this, 
there can be no wisdom in the selection of means 
which are themselves impossible to be employed. In 
the last resort, the means by which, according to the 
Arminian, a possible salvation becomes actual is the 
self-determination of a will unregeuerated by the 
grace of God — that is to say, the means by which a 
dead man is to be. saved from death is the self-deter- 
mined exercise of the dead man's will. In short, 
there can be no wisdom in the selection of an end im- 
possible of attainment, and the adoption of means 
impossible of employment. Such is the scheme of 
salvability which under the fair name of a scheme of 
salvation the Arminian theology eloquently describes 
as the fruit of infinite wisdom ! The proof that a 
nierel)' possible salvation is an impossible salvation 
has, in part, been furnished in the foregoing remarks: 
a further presentation of it may be made at a subse- 
quent stage of the discussion. 

334 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 


The next objection which requires consideration is, 
that the Calvinistic doctrines of election and reproba- 
tion are inconsistent with the veracity of God. 

This objection is presented in several forms : 

First, that these doctrines are inconsistent with 
those passages of Scripture which declare God's love 
for all mankind, and the consequence of that love, a 
universal atonement. 

Secondly, that they are inconsistent with the scrip- 
tural affirmation that God wills that all men shall be 

Thirdly, that they are inconsistent with the com- 
mand of God that all men should repent and believe 
the gospel, and with the universal offer of salvation. 

The first and the second of these special forms of 
the objection will not be considered in this place. 
The question of the Extent of the Atonement or the 
question. For whom did Christ die? it is usual to 
consider under a special head. It constituted one of 
the points debated between the Remonstrants and the 
defenders of the Synod of Dort. The question of the 
will of God touchinor the salvation of all men is coo-- 
nate to that just noticed, and properly falls to be ex- 
amined, in part at least, in connection with it. But 
it may here be remiarked that if the doctrine of elec- 
tion has, in the preceding part of this discussion, been 
proved to be scriptural, it has been also proved that 
Christ died for the salvation only of the elect ; and 
that God efficaciously wills only their salvation. 
These doctrines stand or fall together. Assuming, 
then, the doctrine of election and its necessary conse- 

Objection fj-oiu Divine Veracity. 335 

qiient, particular atonement, the Calvinist is bonnd 
to meet the objection that they are inconsistent with 
the sincerity of God in commanding all men every- 
where to repent and believe the gospel, and in ex- 
tending a nniversal offer of salvation. This form of 
the objection it is now proposed to examine. 

There are two qnestions involved in it which, al- 
though related to each other, are sufficiently distinct 
to justify their separate consideration. 

The first is, ' How can the doctrines of election and 
reprobation be'reconciled with the command of God 
to all men to repent and believe the gospel ? Is not 
God represented as insincere in commanding those to 
repent and believe whom he did not elect to be saved 
and from whom he withholds his saving grace? In 
short, how can the sincerity of God be vindicated in 
view of the allegation that he commands those to re- 
pent and believe whom he has decreed to reprobate, 
and who, he therefore foreknows, cannot obey the 
command ? This question tlie Calvinist must face. 
But let us clear away irrelevant matter, so that the 
precise issue may be distinctly apprehended. The 
Arminian puts the difficulty in this way : God, ac- 
cording to the Calvinist, foreordained and necessitated 
the sin and spiritual inability of men : he gives them 
no grace to relieve them of their inability ; and yet 
commands them to do what they cannot do, in conse- 
quence of his own agency exerted upon them. How, 
then, can God's sincerity be vindicated? But this is 
not the true state of the question. It would be, if 
Calvinism were Necessitarianism ; and how the Ne- 
cessitarian can successfully meet the difficulty, I 
^ For the second see p. 353. 

33^ Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianisni. 

confess that I have never been able to see. Bat Cal- 
vinism, as it has already been shown, is not Necessi- 
tarianism. While it maintains the position that men 
in their present condition are spiritually disabled, and, 
apart from the regenerating grace of God, are under 
a fatal necessity of sinning — not of committing this 
or that particular sin' — but of sinning, it does not 
hold that, in the first instance, that necessity existed. 
On the contrary it teaches that the will of man was 
^'neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature 
determined to good or evil ;" that while man in in- 
nocence was liable to fall on account of the mutability 
of his will, he was also able to stand, and might by 
complying with the condition of the covenant of 
works have secured justification. According to Cal- 
vinism, then, God did not either originate or necessi- 
tate man's sin and consequent inability. The form 
in which the Arminian usually presses the objection 
is consequently irrelevant and unjustifiable. The 
Calvinist, therefore, is not called upon to meet it. It 
is not applicable to him. He is no knight-errant who 
gallantly undertakes to fight other people's battles, 
but is satisfied with the scope afforded to his valor and 
his arms in defending his own position. The objec- 
tion which he is fairly enjoined to meet is that which 
has been stated : Does he represent the God of truth 
as insincere, in commanding those to repent and be- 
lieve whom he decreed to reprobate for their own, 
unnecessitated sin, and who, he foreknows, cannot 
obey the command ? 

It is admitted that God commands all men every- 
where to repent and believe the gospel, with this 
^.This distiuctiou is sigualized by Oweu. 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 337 

limitation, however: that all men who are com- 
manded are those who liave the Word of God. For 
how conld men be commanded, if they have no 
knowledge of the command? Let ns now endeavor 
to understand exactly what the Arminian means by 
this objection. Does he mean to take the orround 
that whatsoever God commands men to do, he effi- 
ciently decreed that they should do? One would 
suppose that this is his meaning, from the fact that 
he so vehemently contends that God wills the salva- 
tion of all men. What else can be meant by this 
position, but that God decretively wills the salvation 
of all men? If this be his meaning, he is compelled 
to hold that God's decretive will is defeated in in- 
numerable instances, since he admits the fact that 
man}- men refuse to obey the command to repent and 
believe. He is, consequently, shut up to the con- 
cession that there is a discrepancy between the com- 
mand of God and his decretive will, as efficacious, 
and is debarred, by consistency, from pressing that 
difficulty upon the Calvinist as one peculiar to him. 

If he mean by God's will that all men should be 
saved, a will that the means and opportunities for 
securing salvation should be enjoyed by all men, the 
same result follows, for he is forced to admit the fact 
that those means and opportunities are not possessed 
by all men. This has been proved in the foregoing 
remarks. Upon this supposition, also, he is con- 
fionted with a want of agreement between the com- 
mand and the efficient will of God, and is deterred 
from urging his own difficulty upon the Calvinist. 

If he mean, that God wills to give ability to all 
men to attain salvation, without the knowledge of 

338 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

the gospel, lie contradicts his own definite doctrine, 
that in order to be saved men mnst believe the gospel 
and accept the salvation which it tenders. To say 
that the Spirit, by immediate revelation and apart 
from the written Word, ordinaril}^ communicates the 
knowledge of salvation, is to contravene alike the 
testimony of the Scriptures themselves and the facts 
of observation. On this supposition, also, it must be 
allowed that there would be a want of concurrence 
between the command of God and his efficacious will 
that all men should be saved ; and again the Ar- 
minian is estopped from pressing the objection under 

If he mean, that the will of God that all men 
should be saved is not a decretive and efficacious will, 
but a desire . that all men should be saved, as he 
admits the fact that all men are not actually saved, 
he must also admit a disappointment in myriads of 
instances of the divine desire, and a corresponding 
diminution of the divine happiness ; and there would 
also emerge a want of harmony between the com- 
mand of God and his will, in the form of desire, that 
all men should be saved. On this supposition, the 
difficulty objected against the Calvinistic doctrine 
lies with equal weight upon the Arminian. 

The difficulty created by any one, or all, of these 
suppositions is not removed, if the Arminian say that 
in this sense at least God efficaciously willed the 
salvation of all men — namely, that he willed by 
virtue of Christ's atonement that the disablinof miilt 
of Adam's sin should be removed from all men. For, 
the question returns, How such a will could be a will 
that all men should be saved? Conscious depravity 


Objection from Divine Veracity. 339 

would still remain, with the guilt and curse which it 
entails, and unless that depravity and its judicial 
consequences are removed from all men by the will 
of God, there could not be affirmed to be a will of 
God that all men should be saved. 

If, finally, the Arminian say, that he means by the 
will of God that all men should be saved, only a per- 
missive will, what more would he affirm than the 
Calvinist? For a will to permit all men to be saved 
would amount to no more than this : that God willed 
not to prevent the salvation of any man by a positive 
divine influence exerted upon him, and that the Cal- 
viiiist admits as well as the Arminian. 

If in answer to this it be said, that the Calvinist 
holds that the judicial curse of God exerts a disabling 
influence upon the sinner, and that God willed to 
allow that disabling influence to remain upon some 
of mankind, the case of conscious sin and the con- 
demnation which it deserves confronts the Arminian. 
All actual transgressions merit the judicial curse of 
God, and the Arminian holds that men commit actual 
transgressions, and that "the wrath of God is re- 
vealed from heaven against all ungodliness and un- 
righteousness of men." Here then is a disabling 
curse which must be removed ere men can be saved. 
Does God will to remove it from all men as, accord- 
ing to the Arminian, he willed to remove the con- 
demnation for Adam's sin from all men? If so, all 
men are actually delivered both from the curse pro- 
nounced upon them for Adam's sin, and that inflicted 
upon them for their own conscious sins ; and that 
involves the actual salvation of all men — a position 
maintained only by the Universalist. The Arminian 

340 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

mnst hold, therefore, that God willed to permit the 
disabling influence of his judicial curse to remain 
upon some men. Consequently, should he maintain 
the view that God's will that all men should be 
saved is simply a permissive will, he would be in the 
same relation to the question of the sincerity of God 
in commanding all men to repent as that sustained 
by the Calvinist. 

It has thus been evinced, that the objection 
grounded in the sincerity of God is one which the 
Arminian as well as the Calvinist is required to meet. 
But let us proceed to a more particular examination 
of the objection itself. 

There are evidently two fallacious hypotheses upon 
which the Arminian founds the objection, in the 
special form under treatment. The first is, that 
there can be no inconsistency between the decretive 
will and the preceptive will of God — between God's 
purpose and his command. The second is, that God 
cannot sincerely command obedience from those who 
are not able to render it — in other words, that iu 
every possible case ability is the condition and 
measure of duty. Let us consider the first. 

It is strenuously contended by the Arminian that it 
is necessary to suppose that when God commands 
anything to be done, he also decretively wills that it 
should be done. Otherwise, an inconsistency is as- 
cribed to the divine will — God wills to be done what 
he does not will shall be done. A contradiction 
emerges. Now, this would be true only in those 
cases in which the will of God is spoken of in the 
same sense. To say that God decretively wills that 
a thing be done and that he does not decretively will 


Objection from Divine Veracity. 341 

that the same thing be done, or that he preceptively 
wills to be done what he preceptively wills not to be 
done, — that would involve a contradiction. But to 
say that God preceptively wills a thing to be done 
and that he does not decretively will that it be 
done,— that involves no contradiction, for the reason 
that the divine will is regarded in different senses. 
This the Arminian himself must admit, or maintain 
a position inconsistent with his own doctrine as to 
the immutability of God, with the plain teachings of 
Scripture, and with the most obtrusive facts. He 
contends that God commands all men to repent and 
believe. Here is God's preceptive will. There can 
be no dispute about it. But all men do not repent 
and believe. Neither can there be any dispute about 
that fact. The question then is. Did God decretively 
will that all men should repent and believe? This 
must be answered in the affirmative, upon the Ar- 
minian ground that there can be no inconsistency 
between the preceptive and the decretive will of God. 
It must be admitted then that in this matter of the 
repentance and faith of all men, the decretive will of 
God has failed of execution— he has not accomplished 
what he decreed to accomplish. What becomes of 
the immutability of God, not to speak of his wisdom 
and his power? But the Arminian holds the im- 
mutability of God. He is therefore palpably incon- 
sistent with himself. He is obliged, if he maintain 
the infinite perfections of God, to admit that the pre- 
ceptive and the decretive will of God do not coincide 
in regard to the repentance and faith of all men. 
Will he then, in spite of this necessitated admission, 
charge the Calvinist with unwarrantably affirming 

342 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

an inconsistency between the command of God that 
all men should repent and believe and the absence of 
his decree that all should obey that command? 

But let us look at the matter in the light of revealed 
facts. God, through Moses, commanded Pharaoh to 
let his people go. Here was his preceptive will, un- 
mistakably delivered, and enforced by tremendous 
sanctions. Did God decretively will that the obstinate 
monarch should consent to let his people go ? If so, 
his decretive will signally failed of accomplishment. 
For although Pharaoh under the pressure of judgment 
temporarily consented, he ultimately persisted in his 
refusal and was destroyed. As that cannot without 
blasphemy be affirmed, it must be conceded that in 
the case of Pharaoh the command of God was not 
concurrent with his decree. Was God insincere, 
therefore, in commanding the Egyptian king to re- 
lease the Israelites from bondage ? 

God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. 
Here w^as the preceptive will of God, which the illus- 
trious patriarch unhesitatingly prepared to obey. But 
the event proved that God had not decretively willed 
that Isaac should be sacrificed. Here was another 
instance of a want of coincidence between the pre- 
ceptive and the decretive will of God. Was God, 
then, insincere in commanding Abraham to sacrifice 
his son ? 

God commanded the Jews to accept Jesus as their 
Messiah and to believe in him. Here was his precep- 
tive will. Did he also decretively will that all of 
them should accept him and believe in him ? Surely 
not, else his decree was balked in its execution. iVgain 
we have a most striking- instance of the fact that the 

Objcclioii from Divine Veracity, 343 

command of God does not always tally with his de- 
cretive will. Who would take the ground that God 
was insincere in commanding all the Jews to accept 
Jesus as their IMessiah and believe in him ? 

With these scriptural facts the course of God's or- 
dinary providence not unfrequently concurs. How 
often does he call his people to the performance of 
functions which he does not intend that they shall 
discharge! A young man, for example, is pressed by 
conscientious convictions that it is his duty to preach 
the Gospel. He sedulously prepares for the great 
office. His preparations completed, the church which 
is edified by his ministrations calls him to preach. 
The ecclesiastical authorities confirm the call. There 
is every evidence which can be furnished by piety, 
gifts, and tlie sustaining judgment of his brethren, 
that he is called to preach. And yet just as soon as 
he steps upon the threshold of the sacred office he re- 
ceives the summons of his Master to leave his earthly 
work. He dies. In this case God's command and 
his decree do not coincide. He calls his servant to 
do a work which he did not intend that he should 
perform. As in the instance of Abraham, he tests the 
spirit of obedience, and stops the actual sacrifice. 
Yet who would say that God is insincere in extending 
a call to duty which he did not decretively will should 
be actually discharged ? 

When, therefore, the Calvinist teaches that God 
commands all men to repent and believe, but that he 
does not decretively will that all men should repent 
and believe, he is not liable to the censure that he 
charges God with insincerity. He is supported in 
this position by the Word of God and the facts of 

344 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisjn. 

But the Calvinist contends that he is warranted in 
going further, and affirming that not only is it true 
that, in certain cases, God does not decretively will 
to be done what he commands to be done, but that, 
in certain cases also, God decretively wills that what 
he commands to be done should not be done. That 
was true in Abraham's case. God himself arrested 
his performance of the commanded duty. When his 
obedient servant was in the act of performing it, he 
stopped him by the command, "Lay not thy hand 
upon the lad." It is plain that God had decretively 
willed that, so far as the consummation of the duty 
was concerned, he should not execute his preceptive 

Not only does this hold true of the obedience of 
God's serv^ants, but also of the disobedience of his en- 
emies. God commanded Pharaoh to liberate Israel. 
He hardened the heart of the incorrigibly wicked 
monarch so that he should not obey the command. 
This is the express language of Scripture, and they 
who quarrel with it quarrel with God. Not that God 
made Pharaoh the wicked sinner that be was. His 
wickedness was his own, produced by and chargeable 
upon himself God did not insert it into him, nor 
did he necessitate its existence. But finding him as 
he was, furiously bent on wickedness, he determined 
his sinful principle into a special and definite channel, 
in order to achieve the redemption of his aflfiicted 
people. He withdrew from him his Spirit, left him 
to the full scope of his evil passions, and shut him up 
to a refusal to comply with the divine command. In 
a word, God judicially punished him by continuing 
him under the necessity of expressing his own exe- 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 345 

crable wickedness. The destruction of Israel's ene- 
mies and their own glorious liberation were, in tlie 
divine purpose, conditioned upon Pharaoh's obsti- 
nacy. His obstinate resistance of the precepti\'e will 
of God was, therefore, ordained by the decretive will 
of God. To deny this is to deny the explicit state- 
ments of Scripture. 

God, by the testimony of John the Baptist, by voices 
speaking from the heavens, and by unimpeachable 
miracles, commanded the Jews who were contempor- 
ary with Jesus to ''hear him" and to believe on him. 
But lie decretively willed that some of them should 
be the agents in producing his death. The apostle 
Peter in his great sermon on the day of Pentecost 
enounced this fact when he said : "Him, being de- 
livered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge 
of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have 
crucified and slain." The apostles, said in a prayer: 
"For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus whom 
thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, 
with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gath- 
ered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy 
counsel determined before to be done." Assuredly 
the death of Christ and the form in which it was in- 
flicted were pre-determined. Consequently, the means 
and agencies involved must likewise have been fore- 
ordained. The sinful principle of which the atro- 
cious act of the crucifixion was the expression was not 
produced by the divine efficiency. God is not the 
author of sin. The sinner is himself the author of it. 
The Scribes and Pharisees, the priests and rulers, and 
the contemporary generation of their countr\nien 
were not made the malicious and incorrigible sinners 

34^ Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

they were by the di\ane causality; but being what 
they were by virtue of their own election, God deter- 
mined to shut them up to the specific expression of 
wickedness which resulted in the crucifixion of Christ. 
They were not, by the divine decree, obliged to be 
sinners or to sin, but they were, by it, obliged to vent 
their own wickedness in such a way as to fulfil the 
eternal counsel of God touching that event which is 
the pivot upon which the whole scheme of redemption 
turns. In a word they with wicked hands crucified 
and slew the Saviour, but God decretively willed that 
they should crucify and slay him. The act w^as alike 
forbidden and decreed — commanded not to be done, 
and decreed to be done. It is but pntting the same 
thing in different w^ords to say that God commanded 
all the Jews to believe in Jesus, and decreed that some 
of them in consequence of unbelief should slay him. 
The bearing of these scriptural facts upon the ques- 
tion in hand is obvious and striking. The Arminian 
denies that there can be any incompatibility between 
the preceptiv'e and the decretive will of God, and de- 
nounces the distinction between them, which the Cal- 
vinist affirms, as dishonoring to the divine perfections. 
Consequently, he holds that as God has expressed his 
preceptive will in the form of a command that all 
men should repent and believe the gospel, his decre- 
tive will must consist with it— that in point of fact 
he wills that all men should repent and believe; other- 
wise God would be insincere in issuing such a com- 
mand. We meet this position by showing from the 
indisputable testimony of Scripture that, in the case 
of Abraham, of Pharaoh, and of some of the Jews in 
the matter of our Lord^s crucifixion, God commanded 

Objection from Divine Veracity, 347 

to be done wliat he did not decretive! y will should be 
done ; and further, that, in each of these cases, he 
commanded to be done what he decreed should not be 
done. Especially is the instance of the crucifiers of 
Christ a pertinent one. The Arminian says that as 
God commands all men to repent and believe, he de- 
cretively wills that all men should repent and believe. 
The Calvinist says that God commands all men to 
repent and believe, but that he has decretively willed 
to reprobate some men — that is to say, to pass them 
by, to withhold from them the saving grace which he 
imparts to others, and to shut them up in impenitency 
to their final doom. The Scriptures, in the instance 
designated, clearly illustrate the same distinction, en- 
forced upon a more restricted theatre. God com- 
manded all the Jews who were contemporary with 
Jesus to repent and believe in him, but he decretively 
willed concerning some of them to pass them by, to 
withhold from them his saving grace, and to shut 
them up in impenitency to their final doom. Does 
any one dispute the applicability of this language to 
the Jewish rejectors of Christ ? Let him consider the 
awful words of the Lord Jesus, as found in the thir- 
teenth chapter of Matthew, and especially these, re- 
corded in the eleventh chapter of Romans: "Wot 
ye not what the Scripture saith of Elias ? how he 
maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 
Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down 
thine altars; and I am left alone and they seek my 
life. But what saith the answer of God unto him ? 
I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who 
have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even 
so then at this present time also there is a remnant 

348 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

according to the election of grace. And if by grace, 
then is it no more of works : otherwise grace is no 
more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more 
grace : otherwise work is no more work. What then? 
Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for ; 
but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were 
blinded (according as it is written, God hath given 
them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not 
see, and ears that they should not hear ;) unto this 
day. And David saith, Let their table be made a 
snare, and a trap, and a stumbling-block, and a rec- 
ompence unto them : Let their eyes be darkened, 
that they may not see, and bow down their back 

These arguments derived immediately from Scrip- 
ture are sufficient to refute the hypothesis of the Ar- 
minian that there can be no inconsistency between 
the preceptive will and the decretive will of God — - 
between the divine command and the divine purpose. 
Consequently, the objection against the Calvinistic 
doctrines of election and reprobation that they im- 
pute insincerity to God, so far as it is grounded in 
that hypothesis, is proved to be destitute of scriptural 
foundation. No insincerity is ascribed to God when 
it is maintained that, although he has decreed to re- 
probate some men for their sin, he commands all men 
to repent and believe the gospel. Man's duty is one 
thing, God's, decree another. The preceptive will of 
God is plainly revealed in Scripture as a rule of action 
which all men are required to obey. The decretive 
will of God, concerning the salvation of this or that 
individual, no one has a right to inquire into until he 
has complied with the divine command to believe in 

Objection from Divine l^eracity. 349 

Christ. When he has believed, it is his privilege to 
be assured of his election, testified to him by the wit- 
ness of the Holy Spirit concurring with that of his 
own spirit. The apostle Paul says to the Thessalon- 
ian believers: "Knowing, brethren beloved, your 
election of God." What Paul knew of them, they 
might know of themselves. Writing to the Roman 
Christians, he says: "Salute Rufus, chosen (elect) in 
the Lord." "The secret of the Lord is with them 
that fear him," but, from the nature of the case, it is 
incognizable by the ungodly. 

The second fallacious hypothesis upon which the 
Arminian founds his objection against the Calvinistic 
doctrine touching the matter in hand is, that in every 
possible case ability is the condition and measure of 
obligation, and that, consequently, God could not 
sincerely command obedience from those who are not 
able to render it. The Calvinist holds that without 
regenerating and determining grace no man can obey 
the command of God to repent and believe the gospel; 
and that God has decreed to withhold that grace from 
those who are not included in his electing purpose. 
As, therefore, they are not able to repent and believe, 
the Calvinist represents God as insincere in command- 
ing them to repent and believe. 

The hypothesis that in every possible case ability 
conditions and measures duty has been considered in 
a preceding part of this discussion. There it was ad- 
mitted that, in the first instance, in which the require- 
ments of law are laid upon its subject, his ability to 
obey is pre-supposed. It was conceded that the first 
man and the race represented by him were possessed 
of original ability to obey the divine law. But it 

350 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisrn. 

was shown that when the original ability with which 
the subject of government is endowed has by wilful 
and unnecessitated sin been sacrificed, a penal in- 
ability supervenes, which cannot possibly discharge 
him from the oblio^ation to render obedience to the 
divine requirements. So when Adam and the race in 
him by their own inexcusable act forfeited their con- 

} created ability to obey God, the penal inability which 

I followed as a judicial consequence could not release 
them from the duty to obey the divine commands. 
It may be affirmed as an indubitable principle, that 
God's right to command and man's duty to obey can- 
not be impaired by sin and the inability which it 
necessarily entails upon its perpetrators. The wilful 
transgressor of the divine law continues to be subject 
to_.tlie obligation which originally rested upon him. 
Although disabled by guilt and corruption, he is 
bound to perform the duties to which he was compe- 
tent in innocence. The fallen angels are not released 
from the obligation to obey God by the fact of their 
inability to obey him. They are as much bound to 
render obedience to him in hell, as they originally 
were in heaven. So is it with men. The only ques- 
tion concerning which any doubt is possible is in re- 
gard to the justice of their implication in the sin of 
Adam and its penal results. That question has been 
already discussed. If the justice of that procedure be 
admitted, it must be granted that God's right to com- 
mand obedience from men and their duty to render it 
are not qualified by the fact of their penal inability. 
Consequently, God without any breach of sincerity 
may command those to repent and believe the gospel 

I whose guilt and depravity disable them for complying 

; with the requirement. 

Objection fr 0711 Divine Veracity. 351 

It will not be denied that repentance is a duty 
which nature itself requires of the sinner. It would 
be a duty, although there were no specific command 
which imposed it. It cannot, therefore, be disputed 
that God may rightfully and sincerely exact by special 
command the performance of a duty which is bound 
iipon the sinner by his natural conscience. Nor does 
it aifect the case to say that the sinner cannot comply 
with this requirement. It is his duty to repair the 
wrong which he has done, notwithstanding the fact 
that he has disabled himself for making the repara- 
tion. Repentance is, in one sense, clearly a legal 
duty; and the sinner's incapacity to perform it cannot 
release him from the obligation to discharge it, nor 
impair God's right to impose it by special command. 

But while this may be acknowledged, it may be 
urged that the duty to believe in Christ for salvation 
stands on a different foot — that faith is not required 
by a legal, but by an evangelical, command. Hence 
it may be argued that as faith, unlike repentance, 
stands related not to the authority of law, but to the 
provisions of a redemptive scheme which is the free 
product of God's gracious will, it cannot with sin- 
cerity be demanded of the sinner, unless at the same 
time sufficient ability to exercise it be communicated 
to him. In a w^ord, faith may be said to lie outside | 
of that class of legal duties which no self-contracted ] 
disability can excuse men from performing. As it is 
not obedience to law, but to the gospel of God's grace, 
the right to demand it supposes the supernatural im- 
partation of ability to yield it. But this, it may be 
replied, is an erroneous statement of the case. It is 
cheerfully conceded that faith, although characterized 

352 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisjn. 

as obedience, is not legal righteousness. Its matter is 
not the works of the law, nor is its end justification on 
the o^round of personal obedience. It obeys by not 
obeying. That is to say, the very essence of the obe- 
dience which it involves is the renunciation of legal 
righteousness as a complement of personal works, and 
reliance upon the righteousness of another, even the 
righteousness of Christ as the substitute of the guilty. 
But while this is true, faith is nevertheless obedience 
to law. The gospel is not the product of law, but of 
grace. But the gospel as the fruit of grace being in 
existence, God as Lawgiver and Ruler commands 
men to receive it and to believe in the Saviour whom 
it reveals. If the question be asked. Why should 
men believe in Christ? with reference to the end con- 
templated, the answer is, In order to their being 
freely justified by grace on the ground of the vicarious 
obedience of Christ. If the same question be asked, 
with reference to the ground of the obligation to be- - 
lieve in Christ, the answer is, Because God has com- 
manded them to do it. The authoritative will of God 
or, in other words, his law, expressed in the form of 
a specific command requiring faith in Christ, obliges 
those who hear the gospel to exercise that faith. He, 
therefore, who believes, obeys God's law as well as 
trusts in his mercy, and he who refuses to believe is 
alike a violator of the divine law and a despiser of 
divine grace. 

If this view be correct — and it is difficult to per- 
ceive how it can be gainsaid — the principle that a 
self-originated inability to obey the law cannot impair 
God's right to command obedience, nor man's duty 
to render it, applies as well to faith in Christ as to 

Objection from Divine Veracity, 353 

those purely legal works which are required by 
natural religion. Consequently no insincerity can be 
imputed to God in connnanding those to believe in 
Christ who have no power to comply with the re- 

The mode in which the Arminian attempts to avoid 
the difficulty which he urges against the Calviuist is 
utterly unsatisfactory. For, in the first place, if he 
take the extraordinary ground that the command to 
repent and believe is imposed literally upon all men 
— that is, upon every individual of the race — he can- 
not prove that such an ability to obey it as he con- 
tends for is imparted to the millions of the strictly 
heathen world. In the second place, it has already 
been shown by conclusive arguments, and, if God 
permit, may still furtlier be evinced, that the ability 
which he claims for those who live under the gospel 
scheme is wholly insufficient to enable the unre- 
generate sinner to repent and believe in Christ. He 
professes to meet the difficulty growing out of the 
divine sincerity, but in reality fails to remove it. It 
presses upon his system as well as upon the Calvin- 

Let us now pass on to consider the second form of 
this objection — namely, that, upon the Calvinistic 
scheme, the universal offer of salvation through the 
invitations of the gospel is inconsistent with the 
sincerity of God. The difficulty is thus put by 
Richard Watson ; "Equally impossible is it to recon- 
cile this notion to the sincerity of God in offering 
salvation to all who hear the gospel, of whom this 
scheme supposes the majority, or at least great num- 
bers, to be among the reprobate. The gospel, as we 

354 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

have seen, is commanded to be preached to 'every 
creature;' which publication of 'good news to every 
creature' is an offer of salvation 'to every creature,' 
accompanied with earnest invitations to embrace it, 
and admonitory comminations lest any should neglect 
and despise it. But does it not involve a serious 
reflection upon the truth and sincerity of God which 
men ought to shudder at, to assume, at the very time 
the gospel is thus preached, that no part of this good 
news was ever designed to benefit the majority, or 
any great part, of those to whom it is addressed? that 
they to whom the love of God in Christ is proclaimed 
were never loved by God? that he has decreed' that 
many to whom he offers salvation, and whom he in- 
vites to receive it, shall never be saved? and that he 
will consider their sins aggravated by rejecting that 
which they never could receive, and which he never 
designed them to receive?"^ 

There are two chief difficulties with which, to my 
jnind, the Calvinistic scheme has to cope. The first 
lis that which attends the attempt to reconcile with 
the justice and goodness of God the implication of all 
men in the sin of Adam and its judicial results. This 
difficulty has already been carefully considered, and 
it has been shown that it bears more heavily upon the 
Arminian than upon the Calvinistic system. But 
admitting the justice and benevolence of the constitu- 
tion under which the first man and his posterity were 
collected into unity upon the principle of legal repre- 
sentation, and that in this way the guilt and spiritual 
inability of the race were self-contracted and justly 
imputable, the Calvinist is able to justify the decrees 
' Theo. Institutes^ vol. ii., p. 343. 

Objection from Divine Veracity, 355 

of unconditional election and of reprobation, and to/ 
affirm God's right to command and man's obligation/ 
to obey, notwithstanding the fact that men are in' 
themselves unable to render the required obedience. 

The second difficulty — the gravity of which it 
would be idle to deny — is that which grows out of 
tlie necessity of adjusting to our conceptions of God's 
sincerity the universal offer of the gospel : the diffi- 
culty which it is now proposed to examine. The 
pinch of it is in this circumstance : that God not only • 
commands men to repent and believe as a duty which 
they owe to him, but invites and urges them to 
accept salvation as a benefit which he tenders them. 
They are not only addressed as the subjects of gov- 
ernment, but as the objects of mercy. That God ^ 
should offer th^m the blessings of salvation, without 
having designed those blessings for all and without , 
conferring upon all the ability to accept them, seems 1 
to involve a mockery of human wretchedness, and a 
deviation from sincerity. 

The doctrine upon this point of the Calvinistic 
system is thus set forth by the Synod of Dort: "This 
death of the Son of God is a single and most perfect 
sacrifice and satisfaction for sins, of infinite value and 
price, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the 
whole world." ^ "The promise of the gospel is, that 
whosoever believeth in Christ crucified shall not 
perish, but have eternal life : which promise ought 
to be announced and proposed promiscuously and in- 
discriminately to all nations and men to whom God, 
in his good pleasure, hath sent the gospel, with the 
command to repent and believe.'" "But because 

1 Ch. ii. Art. 3. ' Ch. ii. Art. 5. 

356 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

many who are called by the gospel do not repent nor 
believe in Christ, bnt perish in unbelief; this doth 
not arise from defect or insufficiency of the sacrifice 
offered by Christ upon the cross, but from their own 
fault." ^ "Sincerely and most truly God shows in 
his Word what is pleasing to him, namely, that they 
wdio are called should come to him ; and he sincerely 
promises to all wdio come to him, and believe, the 
peace of their souls and eternal life." ^ 

The following are the words of the Westminster 
Confession of Faith : "Others, not elected, although 
they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and 
may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet 
they never truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot 
be saved."'' The Larger Catechism thus puts the 
case: "All the elect, and they only, are effectually 
called ; although others may be, and often are, out- 
wardly called by the ministry of the Word, and have 
some common operations of the Spirit, who, for their 
wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to 
them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never 
truly come to Jesus Christ." * 

It deserves to be noticed, that the sufficiency of the 
atonement to ground the salvation of all men is fully 
admitted. The limitation which the Calviuist affirms 
is not upon the intrinsic value of the atonement, but 
in relation to the design of God touching the persons 
for whom it was to be offered as a ransom-price, and 
its application to them in order to make their salva- 
tion certain. The infinite dignity of the person of 
Christ, and the connection of his divine nature with 

^ Ch. ii. Art. 6. 2 ^^^^ ^ji ^rt 9. 

3 Ch. X. Sec. iv. * Oues. 68. 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 357 

his hnnian, imparted infinite worth to liis whole obe- 
dience in life and in death. In a word, the atoning 
merit of Christ was infinite. The following remarks 
of the great John Owen, as strict a Calvinist as ever 
lived, may be regarded as representative: "The first 
thing that we shall lay dow^n is concerning the dig- 
nity, worth, precionsness, and infinite vahie of the 
blood and death of Jesns Christ. The maintaining 
and declaring of this is donbtless especially to be con- 
sidered; and every opinion that doth bnt seemingly 
clash against it is exceedingly prejudiced, at least de- 
servedly suspected, yea, presently to be rejected by 
Christians, if upon search it be found to do so really 
and indeed, as that which is injurious and derogatory 
to the merit and honor of Jesus Christ. The Scrip- 
ture, also, to this purpose is exceeding full and fre- 
quent in setting forth the excellency and dignity of 
his death and sacrifice, calling his blood, by reason of 
the unity of his person, 'God's own blood,' Acts xx. 
28 ; exalting it infinitely above all other sacrifices, as 
havirig for its principle ' the eternal Spirit,' and being 
itself 'without spot,' Heb. ix. 14; transcendently 
more precious than silver, or gold, or corruptible 
things, I Pet. i. 18; able to give justification from all 
things, from which by the law men could not be jus- 
tified. Acts xiii. 28. Now, such as was the sacrifice 
and offering of Christ in itself, such was it intended 
by his Father it should be. It was, then, the purpose , 
and intention of God that his Son should oflTer a sac- ^ 
rifice of infinite worth, value and dignity, sufficient \ 
in itself for the redeeming of all and every man, if it 
had pleased the Lord to employ it to that purpose ; 
yea, and of other worlds also, if the Lord should 

358 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

freely make them, and would redeem them. Suffi- 
cient we say, then, was the sacrifice of Christ for the 
i redemption of the whole world, and for the expiation 
j of all the sins of all, and every man in the world. 
This sufficiency of his sacrifice hath a twofold rise : 
First, the dignity of the person that did offer and was 
offered ; Secondly, the greatness of the pain he en- 
dured, by which he was able to bear, and did undergo, 
the whole curse of the law and wrath of God due to 
sin. And this sets ont the innate^ real^ trne worth 
and value of the blood-shedding of Jesus Christ. This 
is its own true internal perfection and sufficiency. 
That it should be applied unto any, made a price for 
them, and become beneficial to them, according to 
the worth that is in it, is external to it, doth not arise 
from it, but merely depends upon the intention and 
will of God. It w\as in itself of infinite value and 
sufficiency to have beeii made a price to have bought 
and purchased every man in the world. That it did 
formally become a price for any is solely to be ascribed 
to the purpose of God, intending their purchase and 
redemption by it. The intention of the offerer and 
accepter that it should be for siich^ some or any^ is 
that which gives the formality of a price unto it ; this 
is external. But the value and fitness of it to be made 
a price ariseth from its own internal sufficiency." ^ 

The views so strongly expressed by the illustrious 
Puritan have not been modified by the utterances of 
more recent theologians. They are fully maintained 
by such men as Cunningham, Hodge and Thornwell. 
The truth is that the intrinsic sufficiency of the atone- 
ment cannot be exaggerated. The obedience of 
^ WorliSy Goold's Kd., vol. x, pp. 295, 296. 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 359 

Christ was exhaustive of the requirements of the di- 
vine law, preceptive and penal. It was, consequently, 
susceptible, in itself considered, of limitless applica- 
tion, in all cases, at least, in which the principle of 
federal representation was capable of being employed. 
When, therefore, the terms limited atoiienient, definite^] 
atonement, particular atonement, are used, it must be / 
observed that they have no reference to the intrinsic 
value of Christ's satisfaction, but relate entirely to. 
the sovereign purpose of God. 

It follows from this view that, as the atonement of 
Christ was, in itself, sufficient, had God so pleased, to 
ground the salvation of all men, it is sufficient to 
oround the universal offer of salvation. Men are in- 
vited to stand on a platform which is broad enough 
to hold them all, to rest upon a foundation which is 
strong enough to support them all, to partake of pro- 
visions which are abundant enough to supply them 
all. When, therefore, God invites all men to seek 
salvation in Christ, he is not insincere in offering them 
a platform too narrow to hold them, a foundation too 
weak to sustain them, provisions too meagre to supply 
them. Were they all to accept the invitation, they 
would all be saved. So much for the intrinsic suf- 
ficiency of the remedy for human sin and misery. 
So far the Calvinist is not chargeable with represent- 
ing God as insincere in the matter of the gospel offer. 

It will be urged, however, that notwithstanding his 
admission of the absence of limitation, as to the in- 
trinsic sufficiency of the atonement, the difficulty re- 
mains in view of his doctrine that there is limitation, 
as to its extrinsic design and application. It was not 
rendered for all, it is not intended to be effectually 

360 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

applied to all ; it cannot, therefore, be sincerely of- 
fered to all as a remedy for the evils under which 
they suffer. 

In order that the precise nature of the gospel offer 
should be apprehended, let us collect some of the 
prominent passages of Scripture in which it is ex- 
pressed. *'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to 
the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy 
and eat ; yea, come buy wine and milk without money 
and without price.'^* "And he said unto them. Go 
ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every 
creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be 
saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned. '^^ 
**Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest.'^* "In the last day, 
that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, say- 
ing, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and 
drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture 
hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living 
water.^'* "Whosoever shall call on the name of the 
Lord shall be saved. "^ "Let him that is athirst 
come ; and whosoever will, let him take the water of 
life freely.'^" 

In these scriptural statements of the gospel offer, no 
man is invited to believe that Clirist died for him in 
particular. Every man is invited to believe in Christ 
in order to his being saved. The plain meaning of 
the offer is, Believe in Christ and you shall be saved : 
you are a sinner ; Christ died to save sinners ; if you 
believe in him as a Saviour, you shall be saved. If 

^ Isa. Iv. I, *Mark xvi, 15, 16. 

*Matt. xi. 28. *John vii. 37, 38. 

*Rom. X. 13. 'Rev. xxii. 17. 


Objection from Divine Veracity. 361 

the Calvinist representing the vScriptures as teaching 
that Christ died to save the elect, should also repre- 
sent God as inviting every man to believe that Christ 
died for him in particular, he would be justly charge- 
a])le wi'h imputing insincerity to the divine Being.* 
But he is not guilty of this inconsistency. He regards 
the offer as consisting of a condition and a promise 
suspended upon its discharge. The condition is 
faith ; the promise is salvation. The terms simply 
are : if you believe in Christ as a Saviour you shall 
be saved ; and you are invited so to believe. Per- 
form the condition, and the promised salvation is 
yours. The preachers of the gospel have no com- 
mission to proclaim to every man that Christ died to 
save him, and that he ought to believe that fact. 
That would be to exhort men to believe that they are 
saved, before they exercise faith in Christ. For 
surely to believe the proposition, Christ died for thee, 
and to believe in Christ as a personal Saviour, are 
very different things. The Calvinist, therefore, does 
not blasphemously ascribe a want of veracity to God 
by representing him as teaching, in the doctrinal 
statements of his Word, that Christ did not die for 
every man, and as declaring in the gospel offer that 
Christ did die for every man. He holds that, in the 
gospel offer, God simply announces the condition 
upon which men may be saved and indiscriminately 
invites all to fulfil it. 

This being the state of the case, I remark that the 
gospel offer gives to every man who hears it a divine 

^This argument against the Calvinist is styled the Remon- 
strants' Achilles ; but it does about as much harm to the Calvinist 
as the Greek hero while sulking in his tent to the Trojan. 

362 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

warrant to believe in Christ and be saved. So far as 
God's assurance is concerned, he has a right to believe 
and be saved, if he will. The terms are, Whosoever 
will, let him take the water of life freely. Where is the 
insincerity of such an offer? It could only be evinced 
by showing that God is the author of the sinner's will 
not to believe and be saved. But it has been already 
sufficiently manifested that no Calvinist holds that 
God is the cause of the sinner's unbelief The sinner 
himself is the cause of it. If it be said, still God 
knows when he gives the warrant to all to believe 
and be saved, that there are some who are not able to 
avail themselves of it ; when he furnishes the right, 
that there are some who cannot employ it ; the 
answer is, that it may please him, for wise and holy 
purposes, by extending the offer of salvation to such 
men, to test their unbelief, and so to expose their 
perverse wickedness and vindicate his justice in their 
condemnation. Who are we, that we should venture 
to set bounds to the procedures of infinite wisdom, 
justice and holiness? Why may we not conceive 
that God is as righteous in conveying to men the free 
offer of salvation in order to evince to themselves and 
to the universe their wickedness in disbelieving the 
gospel, as in imposing upon men his commands in 
order to illustrate their wickedness in disobeying his 
law? Certainly, if sinners spontaneously reject the 
warrant and the right which God gives them to be- 
lieve and be saved, they are left without excuse and 
will be speechless in the great day of accounts. And 
he would take bold ground who would hold that God 
has no right to place sinners in such circumstances, 
and in such relations to himself, as to manifest the 
inexcusableness of their wickedness. 


Objcctioi from Divine Veracity. 363 

In the Epistle to the Romans, the inspired apostle 
clearly teaches that the light of nature, while insuffi- 
cient to ground the knowledge of salvation, is suffi- 
cient to render men without excuse for their wicked 
apostasy from God. ''Because that which may be 
known of God is manifest in them ; for God hath 
shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him 
from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being 
understood by the things that are made, even his 
eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are without 
excuse."^ To say that Paul meant that the Gentiles 
might have been justified by obeying this light of 
natural religion is to reduce his wdiole argument to 
contempt. Their relation to the instructions of na- 
ture did not make their justification possible, but 
proved their condemnation to be just. It might be 
asked, where is God's sincerity in furnishing light to 
those who, he knows, cannot avail themselves of it 
in consequence of sin ? To such a questioner it 
might be thundered, Who art thou that repliest 
against God? 

The same line of remark applies to the relation of 
the moral law to those who have not the gospel. 
When God, by the requirements and admonitions of 
conscience, illuminated and re-enforced by the com- 
mon operations of his Spirit, convinces them of the 
duty and the necessity resting upon them to obey it, 
he cannot intend by these means to assure them of 
the hope of salvation on the ground of a legal right- 
eousness. He knows that by the deeds of the law 
they cannot be justified. To what end, then, are 
these instrumentalities employed, if not to leave the 
^ Ch. i. 19, 20. 

364 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

wicked transgressors of the law without excuse, and 
to vindicate the divine justice in their condemnation? 
*'For when the Gentiles, which have not the law 
[that is, the law as written in the Scriptures] do by 
nature the things contained in the law, these having 
not the law are a law unto themselves : which shew 
the work of the law written in their hearts, their con- 
science also bearing witness, and their thoughts the 
meanwhile accusing, or else excusing, one another." 
And of those who, having not the written law, violate 
this natural law embodied in the conscience, it is ex- 
pressly declared that they shall perish. "As many 
as have sinned without law shall perish without law." 
Is God insincere in addressing the instructions, expos- 
tulations and warnings of the law to those who can- 
not obey it in their natural strength, and to whom he 
has communicated no knowledge of that redemptive 
scheme through the provisions of which alone they 
can escape condemnation, and present to him accept- 
able obedience? 

Is God insincere in pressing the demands of his law 
upon any man, unevangelized or evangelized, al- 
though he knows that the result will be the excite- 
ment of contradictoriness and opposition instead of 
obedience to those requirements, and although he 
knows that that result cannot be avoided except in 
consequence of the impartation of his saving grace? 

These considerations go to show that God, in in- 
numerable instances, pours the light of nature and of 
the moral law upon ungodly men for the purpose of 
convicting them of sin and of rendering them inex- 
cusable. And, if he is pleased to adopt this course 
towards the despisers of his law, why should one be 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 365 

censured for attributing insincerity to him in pursuing 
a similar course towards the despisers of his grace? 
In neither case is he ^boun d to restore that ability to 
obey him which men have forfeited by their own sin; 
and if it be one of the ends of that moral government 
which he is now conducting to furnish a thorough- 
going and exhaustive exposition of the desperate evil 
of sin, one, basing his judgment upon merely rational 
grounds, might without rashness conclude that such 
an end would be most effectually compassed by per- 
mitting the wicked to exhibit malignant enmity to 
his gospel as well as to his law. That could only be 
done by bringing them into contact with the gospel 
offer. If they reject that offer, made to every man 
who is willing to receive it, the native opposition of 
their hearts to God is most clearly brought to the 
surface and exposed. To the contemners of the rich 
and unmerited blessings freely and graciously offered 
in the gospel, God may righteously utter the awful 
words: '^Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and per- 
ish." It is very certain that God could, if he 
pleased, constrain every man who hears the gospel 
offer to accept it. The fact that he does not, what- 
ever other inferences it may warrant, legitimates 
this : that it is his purpose to uncover and bring into 
light the malignant and inexcusable character of sin. 
Unbelief in Christ is the climax of wickedness. In 
the great day, every mouth will be stopped ; but 
especially will they be struck dumb who have de- 
spised alike the grace of the gospel, and the justice 
of the law. 

If, therefore, God gives to every man who hears 
the gospel a warrant and right to embrace the salva- 

366 Calvinism and Evangelical Amninianisni. 

tion it offers, he is sincere in extending the offer to 
all, notwithstanding the fact that he does not confer 
upon all the grace which effectuates its reception. 
Those who reject it will not be able to excuse them- 
selves by the plea of God's insincerity. 

It deserves also to be noticed, as some divines have 
shown, that faith is required, on grounds of justice, as 
the first duty of the sinner in order that he make 
reparation for the injury done to the divine veracity 
in the first instance of man's transgression. God dis- 
tinctly testified to man in innocence, "In the day 
thou eatest thereof" (that is, of the fruit of the tree 
of knowledge of good and evil) "thou shalt surely 
die." That divine testimony the Devil as distinctly 
denied. Man believed the Devil and disbelieved God. 
The divine word was discredited by unbelief On the 
supposition, therefore, that man is to be restored to 
the favor of God, it is righteous, it is meet and proper, 
that a naked faith in the simple testimony of God 
should be exacted from him as the first step to his 
recovery. The requirement of faith from the sinner 
is, consequently, not merely a measure of mercy to 
him, but of justice to God. The atonement of Christ, 
proposed to the sinner's acceptance as the means of 
his reconciliation to God, is the free product of grace, 
and it is exuberant grace that, in the first instance, 
nothing but faith in the provision of redemption 
should be demanded of the sinner; but there is a rea- 
son for the exaction of faith in the divine testimony 
to this plan of recovery, which is deeply seated in 
justice and law. The salvation of the guilty springs 
from the free and unmerited mercy of God, but it is 
effected in such a way, even in regard to its experi- 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 367 

mental application, as to consist with the divine per- 
fections of justice and truth, and to honor, vindicate 
and establish the principles of God's moral govern- 
ment. The Fall began in unbelief, and the sinner's 
restoration fitly begins with faith. The insult of- 1 
fered to the divine word must be obliterated by a 1 
simple and unquestioning reliance upon it. From 
God's side, the requirement of faith on the part of the 
sinner in order to his salvation is a demand of justice, 
and in that aspect of it may as fairly be laid upon the 
spiritually disabled sinner as any precept to obey the 
moral law. In this view of the case, it is clear, that 
it no more involves a departure from sincerity for 
God to require faith in Christ from the sinner because 
he cannot, in his own strength, exercise it, than for 
God to demand obedience to his law from the sinner, 
because he cannot, in his own strength, perform it. 
God sincerely requires obedience to his law from the\ 
sinner, althouo:h he knows that without his efficacious 
grace that obedience cannot be rendered, and although/ 
he has not purposed to impart that grace to determinel 
him to its performance. In the same manner, Godf 
sincerely requires from the sinner faith in the gospel, i 
although he knows that without his efficacious grace! 
he cannot exercise it, and although he has not pur-/ 
posed to bestow that grace to determine him to its 

Men argue as if the exhortation to the sinner to 
believe in Christ were simply an invitation to him to 
partake of blessings freely tendered by mercy. TJiat 
it certainly is, but only that it certainly is not. It is 
forgotten that it imposes an obligation to the dis- 
charge of an imperative duty. The whole race lies 

368 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

under the fearful guilt of having believed the Devil 
and given God the lie. Those who live under the 
gospel are bound to wipe out this foul dishonor done 
to the divine veracity. The Calvinist could only be 
convicted of representing God as insincere in requir- 
ing this reparation to his injured honor, by its being 
shown to be his doctrine that God himself influenced 
men to prefer the testimony of Satan to his own; and 
that the Calvinist denies. 

Let it be borne in mind, also, that while, as we have 
seen, God, in extending the offer of the gospel to all 
men, furnishes an ample warrant to all to believe in 
Christ and to be saved, he is not bound by any of his 
perfections to give to all the disposition to avail 
tliemselves of the warrant. They have no claim upon 
him. They brought themselves into their condition 
of sin and inability, and, consequently, they can have 
no ground for complaining against God for not re- 
moving their indisposition to comply with his com- 
mand and invitation to believe in Christ. 

But while it is true that God is not bound to give 
to all who hear the gospel a disposition to accept its 
invitations, it is also true that he debars no man from 
availing himself of them and receiving salvation 
through Christ. So far as he is concerned, all legal 
obstacles have been removed which barred the access 
of sinners to his pardoning mercy. The road has 
been opened to his favor, by means of the finished 
work of an atoning Saviour. All who will to come 
may come. No one who comes is thrust back. The 
only barriers between sinners and salvation are those I 
which are raised by themselves. Go:l erects none. 
His decree, executed by his efficacious grace, con 


Objection from Divine Veracity. 369 

strains some to come; but his decree prevents none 
from coming. He decrees to condemn men for not 
coming, not to debar them from coming. He is 
therfore sincere in opening the door of mercy to all 
who please to enter it. ^ 

It must further be observed that God exercises nov 
positive influence upon the minds of any sinners toj 
deter them from coming to Christ for salvation. He' 
creates no indisposition in them to come. If he did, 
there would be some color of truth in the charge that 
he deals insincerely with them in making the offer of 
salvation. It is common to represent the Calvinist as 
holding that God chains the sinner to a stake, and 
then invites him to come to provisions which are 
placed beyond his reach. The Calvinist teaches no 
such doctrine. He contends that the sinner chains 
himself, and that he prefers his chains to the provis- 
ions of redemption which are tendered him. He 
forges his own chain and then hugs it. The true 
doctrine is that the bread and the water of life are of- 
fered to all. None, by nature, hunger for the bread ; 
none thirst for the water. To some God pleases to 
impart the hunger and the thirst which impel them 
to come and partake. Others he leaves under the in- 
fluence of a distaste for these provisions of salva- 
tion — a distaste not implanted by him, but engendered 
by their own voluntary sin. He infuses into none a 
disrelish for the bread and w^ater of life. If they de- 
sired to partake of them they might ; for God invites 
them, and therefore authorizes them, to come and en- 
joy them. Is God insincere in this procedure because 
they exclude themselves from these blessings? It is 
shifting the ground of the objection to say, that God 

370 Calvinis7?i and Evangelical Arminiamsm. 

knows, when lie extends the invitation, that they are, 
without his grace, unable to accept it. That diffi- 
culty has already been met. What is now insisted 
upon is, that God does not infuse the inability. It is 
self-engendered. In the parable of the Great Supper 
our Lord illustrates the invitation which God extends 
to all who hear the gospel to come and partake of 
its saving provisions. All who were invited to the 
Supper refused to come. The IMaster of the feast 
constrained some to come. Did this discrimination 
prove him insincere in inviting the others? Certainly 
not. Their own unwillingness was the cause of their 
refusal. He could only have been insincere on the 
supposition that he so influenced them as to render 
them unwilling. In like manner, the refusal of sin- 
= ners to accept the gospel offer is caused by their own 
I unwillingness ; nor can God be charged with insin- 
1 cerity, except upon the supposition that their unwil- 
lingness is produced by his agency. That supposition 
forms no part of the Calvinistic doctrine. Any state- 
ment to the contrary is a misrepresentation. 

But it will be urged : Where, after all, is the sin- 
cerity of invitations addressed to the dead; of light- 
ing up a charnel-house as a banqueting hall, spreading 
in it a feast of viands, and exhorting the mouldering 
corpses to rise and partake of the sumptuous repast ? 
Unless life be infused into them it is a grim and 
solemn mockery to exhort them to attempt the func- 
tions of the living. Besides the answer which has 
already been furnished to this objection, the following 
considerations are submitted : 

First, sinners are not in such a sense dead as to be 
wholly beyond the reach of the gospel offer. The 


Objection from Divine Veracity. 371 

effect of the fall was the total destruction of spiritual 
life. That was totally eliminated from every faculty 
of the soul. Holiness was not an essential element, 
but a separable quality, of man's original constitution. 
It is a sufficient proof of that position that all evan- 
gelical theologians admit the possibility of its restora- 
tion after having been lost. The faculties which 
were essential to the very make and constitution of 
man survived the disaster of the fall ; otherwise his 
being would have been extinguished. Although, 
therefore, the principle of spiritual life no longer 
exists until restored by supernatural grace, the intel- 
lect, the feelings, the will, considered as to its spon- 
taneity at least, and the conscience as a moral faculty, 
still continue their functions in the natural sphere. 
In contact with these powers God brings the instruc- 
tions, invitations and threatenings of the gospel. 
The gospel does not speak to stocks and stones ; it 
addresses beings who are intelligent, emotional, vol- 
untary and moral. They are capable of apprehending 
its sTatement that they are spiritually dead, and its 
gracious offer to them of the boon of everlasting life. 
They can understand the proposition that God has 
through Christ provided redemption for sinners, and 
that they are freely invited to accept it. They are 
susceptible of some feeling of desire to obtain it, and 
of some sense of obligation to seek it. 

Secondly, with the operation of these natural 
faculties in the moral sphere the Holy Spirit concurs, 
in the discharge of what has been called his law-work. 
He illuminates the understanding, stimulates the 
affections, presses upon the conscience the sanctions 
of the moral law, and directs the attention of the 

372 Calvinism and Evangelical Armijtianism. 

sinner to the provisions of redeeming- mercy which 
are proposed to his acceptance in the gospel. 

Thirdly, is there anything which the unconverted 
sinner can will to do? This is an important ques- 
tion. It is very certain that he can do nothing in the 
spiritural sphere, for the reason that he is spiritually 
dead. He cannot convert himself, for how can a dead 
man restore himself to life? He cannot repent, he 
cannot believe in Christ, for repentance and faith sup- 
pose the possession of spiritual life. This spiritual 
inability is itself sin, and as has been already shown 
cannot be held to absolve the sinner from the obliofa- 
tion to obey God's requirements either purely legal or 
evangelical, unless the preposterous ground is assumed 
that sin can excuse sin. The spiritual inability of the 
sinner is no reason why God may not consistently 
either with justice or goodness or veracity command 
and invite him to repent and believe. The gravity of 
the distinction between original and penal inability 
can scarcely be overestimated, although it is one 
which is but too seldom emphasized. It was main- 
tained both by Augustin and Calvin. The latter 
says: "For since he [Augustin] had said 'that no 
ground of blameworthiness could be discovered when 
nature or necessity governs' he cautions us that this 
does not hold except in regard to a nature sound 
and in its integrity; that men are not subject to 
necessity but as the first man contracted it for tliem 
by his voluntary fault. *To us,' says he, 'nature is 
made a punishment, and what was the just punish- 
ment of the first man is nature to us. Since, there- 
fore, necessity is the punishment of sin, the sins 
which thence arise are justly censured, and the blame 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 373 

of them is deservedly imputed to men, because the 
origin is voluntary.' " ' 

Dr. Thornwell enforces the distinction in these 
impressive words: "We must distinguish between 
inability as original and inability as penal. Moral 
power is nothing more nor less than holy habitudes 
and dispositions ; it is the perception of the beauty, 
and the response of the heart to the excellence and 
glory, of God, and the consequent subjection of the 
will to the law of holy love. Spiritual perception, 
spiritual delight, spiritual choice, these and these 
alone constitute ability to good. Now, if we could 
conceive that God had made a creature destitute of 
these habits, if we could conceive that he came from 
the hands of the Creator in the same moral condition 
in which our race is now born, it is impossible to 
vindicate the obligation of such a creature to holiness 
upon any principle of justice. It is idle to say that 
his inability is but the intensity of his sin, and the 
more helpless the more wicked. His inability is the 
result of his constitution ; it belongs to his very 
nature as a creature, and he is no more responsible 
for such defects tjian a lame man is responsible for 
his hobbling gait, or a blind man for his incom- 
petency to distinguish colors. He is what God made 
him ; he answers to the idea of his being, and is no 
more blameworthy for the deformed condition of his 
soul than a camel for the deformity of its back. The 
principle is intuitively evident that no creature can 
be required to transcend its powers. Ability con- 
ditions responsibility. An original inability, natural 

^ De Servit. et Liberal. Htim. Arbitrii, Opp. ed. Atnstel., vol. 
viii, p. 151. 

374 Calvinism and Evangelical Arininianisni. 

in the sense that it enters into the notion of the 
creatnre as such, completely obliterates all moral 
distinctions with reference to the acts and habits 
embraced within its sphere. . . . 

" But there is another, a penal inability. It is that 
which man has superinduced by his own voluntary 
transgression. He was naturally able — that is, created 
with all the habitudes and dispositions which were 
involved in the loving choice of the good. Rectitude 
w^as infused into his nature; it entered into the idea 
of his being; he was fully competent for every exac- 
tion of the law. He chooses sin, and by that very 
act of choice impregnates his nature with contrary 
habits and dispositions. His moral agency continues 
unimpaired through all his subsequent existence. He 
becomes a slave to sin, but his impotence, hopeless 
and ruinous as it is, results from his own free choice. 
In the loss of habits he loses all real power for good; 
he becomes competent for nothing but sin; but he is 
held responsible for the nature which God gave him, 
and the law which constitutes its eternal norm ac- 
cording to the divine idea and the spontaneous dic- 
tates of his own reason can never cease to be the 
standard of his beino: and life. All his descendants 
were in him when he sinned and fell. His act was 
legally theirs, and that depravity which he infused 
into his own nature in the place of original righteous- 
ness has become their inheritance. They stand, 
therefore, from the first moment of their being in the 
same relation to the law which he occupied at his fall. 
Their impotence is properly their own. Here is not 
the place to show how this can be. I am only show- 
ing that there is a marked distinction between the 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 375 

inability which begins with the nature of a being and 
the inability which it brings npon itself by sin; that 
in the one case responsibility is measured by the ex- 
tent of the actual power possessed, in the other, by 
the extent of the power originally imparted. No 
subject by becoming a traitor can forfeit the obliga- 
tion to allegiance; no man can escape from the law 
b\' voluntary opposition to law. The more helpless 
a creature becomes in this aspect of the case, the 
more wicked ; the more he recedes from the divine 
idea, from the true norm of his being, the more guilty 
and the more miserable. To creatures in a state of 
apostasy actual ability is not, therefore, the measure 
of obligation. They cannot excuse themselves under 
the plea of impotency when that very impotence is 
the thing charged upon them." ^ 

This subject has been again adverted to for the 
purpose, in the first place, of showing that as the 
spiritual inability of the sinner cannot absolve him 
from the obligation to pay obedience to any require- 
ment God may please to make, there is no insincerity 
involved in the extension of the gospel offer occasioned 
by the divine knowledge of the sinner's incompetency 
to embrace it; and, in the second place, of guarding 
against any misconception of the views about to be 
presented in regard to that measure of ability which 
the unregenerate sinner possesses in the merely nat- 
ural sphere. 

The question recurring, Can the unconverted sinner 
will to do anything in regard to the offer of salvation 
conveyed in the gospel, I answer: 

He can will, or not will, to place his understanding 

^ Coll. Wrllings, vol. i. pp. 395-39S- 

376 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisjn, 

in such relation to the evidence which God proposes 
for his consideration, to the facts and teachings, the 
invitations, remonstrances and warnings of the gos- 
pel, as is suited to impress it with the duty, the policy, 
the importance of paying attention to ihe great con- 
cern of personal salvation. 

He can will, or not will, to attend upon the ordi- 
nances of God's house, and listen to the preaching of 
the divine Word, and thus place himself in the way 
along which Jesus as a Saviour is passing. 

He can will, or not will, to read the Scriptures, and 
so subject his mind to the influences which they are 
suited to exert. 

What hinders the unreoenerate man from doinof 
these things? What hinders him from hearing the 
preacher of the gospel any more than listening to any 
public speaker? What hinders him from repairing to 
the sanctuary any more than going to any other build- 
ing? What hinders him from reading the Bible any 
more than perusing any other book? To do these 
things he is not dependent upon supernatural grace. 
He may do them in the exercise of his natural will. 
Now, on tlie supposition that he avails himself, as he 
is competent to do, of these means which God fur- 
nishes him in the natural sphere, it is perfectly pos- 
sible for him to be impressed with the statements of 
the gospel concerning his lost and ruined condition as 
a sinner, and the redemption effected by Christ, and 
the expediency and necessity of complying with the 
calls of mercy. It is also conceivable that he should 
be convinced of his utter inability to accept the offer 
of the gospel and rely upon Christ for salvation. ^ 
^ Owen, IVorks, vol. iii. p. 229, fF. Goold's EJd. 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 2)77 

In this condition of mind, he can will, or not will, 
to cry to God for help. What would hinder him 
from determining, in view of his inability to meet the 
exigency, to pray that God would enable him to come 
to Christ and accept the offered salvation? Men sin- 
cerely appeal for help only when they cannot help 
themselves. The very conviction of impotence would 
be the strongest motive to prayer. Now, the throne 
of grace is accessible to all. God debars no sincere 
suppliant from approaching it. He invites the dis- 
tressed to call upon him and promises that he will 
answer their cry. 

These things, then, the unconverted sinner can do 
in the natural sphere : he can hear the preaching of 
the gospel, he can read the Scriptures, he can call on 
God for delivering grace. In that charnel-house in 
which the objector paints the gospel feast as spread — 
yea, in the sepulchre in which his spiritual corpse is 
lying, he can, in the exercise of his natural powers, 
apprehend the invitation to partake of the blessings 
of redemption and cry to God for ability to embrace 
it. His prayers would have no merit: they would, on 
the contrary, be the expression of impotence, of self- 
despair and of utter dependence on God. 

If, therefore, the unregenerate sinner may do these 
things, what ground is there for imputing insincerity 
to God in extending to him the gospel offer and urg- 
ing him to accept it? If he will not do what he is 
able to do, with what face can he find fault with God 
for not doing for him what he is not able to do? 
What excuse will he render in the day of final ac- 
counts for his wilful neolect of the means which were 
placed in his power? Should the Judge ask him, in 

. 37^ Calvinism and Evangelical Arminiamsm. 

that day: Didst thou attend the sanctuary and hearken 
to the preaching of the gospel? Didst thou seriously 
read the Scriptures? Didst thou call on God to save 
thee? Didst thou not know that thou couldst have 
done these things? he will be speechless; for his in- 
ner consciousness will attest the justice of the awful 
interrogatories, and close his lips to self-justification/ 
There is but one other consideration which I will 
submit with reference to the special aspect of the sub- 
ject before us. Men assert for themselves the power 
of free-will. They claim the ability to decide the 
jquestion of accepting the offer of salvation by the de- 
1 termination of their own wills. This they arrogate 
for themselves in the face of the clear and unmistak- 
able testimony of God's Word to. the contrary. The 
Scriptures inform them that they are dead in tres- 
passes and sins, and that they can see the kingdom 
of God only by virtue of a new and supernatural 
birth, involving the infusion of spiritual life, the re- 
newal of their wills, and ability to embrace Christ as 
he is offered in the gospel. This they presumptuously 
deny, and boldly take the ground that God himself 
caunot determine the human will by his efficacious 
grace, without invading the rights and prerogatives 
which belong to its essential constitution. They 
must themselves decide the question of embracing 
the offer of salvation by the undetermined election of 
their own wills. Assisted by grace they may be, but 
controlled by grace they cannot and must not be. 
\ The sovereignty of man's free will must be preserved. 

^ A similar line of argument, very ably presented by the Rev. 
S. G. Winchester, may be found in Vol. i. of the Tracts issued by 
ti;e Presbyterian Board of Publication, Philadelphia. 

Objection from Divine Veracity, 2)79 

When, accordingly, God makes to them a tender of 
salvation and calls upon them to accept it, without 
imparting to them the efficacious, determining, con- 
straining grace which they deliberately declare their 
unwillingness to receive, what does he but meet them 
on their own ground ? Did he not offer them sal- 
vation he would, according to their own view, deal 
with them unjustly. Did he bestow upon them con- 
straining grace, he would, according to their own 
view, contradict the constitution he imparted to them. 
Very well; God treats them precisely as they demand 
he should. He offers salvation to their acceptance ; 
he does not confer upon them constraining grace. It 
is just what they would have. Where, then, is the 
reasonableness of the complaint that God is insincere, 
if the case be regarded from their own point of view? 

It is no answer to this statement of the matter that 
the Calvinist says, God knows that the claim of the 
unconverted sinner to the possession of free-will in 
spiritual things is false. God not only knows .that 
fact, but faithfully ascertains the sinner of it, urges it 
upon his attention and exhorts him to relinquish all 
dependence upon himself and throw himself upon un- 
merited and sovereign mercy. This faithful and kindly 
dealing with his soul the sinner flouts. Is not God 
right in permitting him to walk in the light of the 
sparks which he has kindled and to eat the fruit of 
his own doings? Is not God right in saying to him, 
in effect. You claim the power to decide the question 
of salvation for yourself: have your own way : I offer 
you salvation, I will not invincibly determine your 
will : test the question- in the way you elect, and let 
the issue prove whether you or your God be right. It 

380 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

would be bold and arroq-aiit to assio^n reasons for 
God's procedures, save in those cases in which he is 
pleased to reveal them; but if it be a part of his plan 
to furnish a complete exposition of the principles of 
sin and grace operating in connection with each other, 
it would seem to be necessary to test the claim of an 
unregenerate sinner to the possession of free will and 
ability in relation to spiritual things and those which 
concern the salvation of the soul. This is effectually 
done by freely offering salvation to the sinner, and 
opposing no obstacle to his receiving it; and also by 
taking him at his own word, dealing with him on his 
own terms, and leaving him to the decision of his 
own will undetermined by an irresistible influence of 
grace. This is exactly what the sinner claims to be 
fair, and what the Arminian theology formally de- 
mands for him. The conditions exacted on the 
human side are fairly supplied on the divine side. 
The issue is joined, and the question awaits settle- 
ment whether the will of a fallen being possesses 
elective ability in the spiritual sphere. And little is 
risked, when the opinion is adventured, that the final 
result, illuminated by the light of the great, judicial 
day, will be that the claim of a fallen and unregener- 
ate being to possess free will in spiritual things will 
be exploded in the eyes of the on-looking universe. 
The actual trial, which will have been had, will for- 
ever settle the case. 

Having vindicated the Calvinistic doctrine from the 
charge of inconsistency with the sincerity of God, I 
proceed to show that it is difficult for the Arminian to 
redeem his own doctrine from the same reproach. 

First, One fails to see how an offer of the gospel 

Objection from Divine I eraa'ty. 38 1 

when not actually made can be said to be sincerely 
made. There are large sections of the world which 
are designated as heathen for the very reason that they 
have no knowledge of the gospel. To them the tender 
of the blessings of redemption is not communicated. 
But the Arminian insists that as the atonement of 
Christ was made for every individual of the race, there 
is a corresponding offer of its benefits to " every soul 
of man." And as God imparts to every man suffi- 
cient ability to embrace the offer, he is sincere in ex- 
tending it to all. But the fact has to be met that the 
offer of the gospel is not actually communicated to all 
of those for whom it is alleged that redemption was 
purchased. Myriads of heathen people neither know 
that redemption has been effected, nor that its benefits 
are offered to them. There is no offer of the gospel 
actually made to masses of the heathen. To them it 
is zero; and of zero nothing can be predicated. To 
say that an offer which is not made is sincerely made 
is absurd. A sincere offer which is not made is a 
sincere nothing. 

If it be said that the offer as contained in the Bible 
is couched in universal terms, it is again replied as 
before that the heathen have not the Bible, and there- 
fore know nothing of the offer in whatsoever terms it 
may be conveyed. If a feast were spread in a city, 
and cards of invitation were issued in which all its 
inhabitants were invited, and yet the cards were sent 
only to some and the rest remained in ignorance of 
the fact that they were included, how could it be said 
that the invitation was sincerely extended to all? In 
regard to such an invitation to all, the question of 
sincerity could not be raised. The only question 
would be as to the existence of the invitation. 

382 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianisnt. 

The difficulty reaches farther back than this. It 
may be fairly asked, how it can be shown that God 
was sincere in making a redemptive provision for 
those to whom he did not intend by his providence to 
exfend the offer of participation in its benefits. For 
it will be admitted that God could, if he pleased, con- 
vey the gospel offer to every individual of the race. 
This he does not please to do. The inconsistency has 
to be accounted for between the allegation that God 
in his Word declares that the provision of redemption 
is designed for every man, and the fact that in his 
providence he does not extend the offer of its bless- 
ings to every man. And the question must be pressed, 
how, in view of this inconsistency, God's sincerity 
can be vindicated. One can conjecture no relief from 
this difficulty except upon the ground that Christ has 
bound upon the Church the obligation to communi- 
cate the gospel offer to all mankind. This is not true 
of the Old Testament Church, and while it is true of 
the New Testament Church, still the ability and the 
willingness of the Church to comply with this obliga- 
tion are conferred alone by the grace of God. As- 
suredly, the merely natural inclinations of Christians 
would not impel them to convey to the heathen the 
knowledge of the gospel. God's decretive will, as 
indicated in the measures of his providence, must, 
therefore, be regarded as implicated in the fact that 
the gospel is not actually communicated to every in- 
dividual of the race. 

It does not relieve the difficulty to say, that God 
communicates sufficient grace to the church to enable 
her to obey the command of her Head to preach the 
gospel to every creature, and leaves it to her by the 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 383 

free election of her self-determining will to carry the 
command into execution. For, in that case, it must 
be confessed that God foreknew that the church 
would fail, to a great extent, in yielding obedience to 
the command, and so conditioned upon her dis- 
obedience the fate of the heathen world. He de- 
signed no other means for the communication of the 
gospel to the heathen than the agency of the church, 
and he knew that that instrumentality would not be 
adequately employed to accomplish the contemplated 
end. The Arminian cannot escape the difficulty of 
adjusting, upon his principles, the non-extension of 
the gospel offer to large sections of the race to the 
sincerity of God. The Calvinist is not burdened 
with this difficulty, because, in the first place, he 
does not hold that the atonement of Christ was offered 
for every individual of mankind ; and because, in the 
second place, he holds that the invitation to partake 
of the benefits of the atonement is extended to all 
those who hear the gospel. 

Secondly, The Arminian is confronted with the 
difficulty that, according to his doctrine, ability to. 
accept the gospel offer is imparted to those to whonil 
that offer is never actually made. He teaches that 
God has given to every man sufficient grace, — that is 
to say, sufficient grace to enable him to embrace the 
salvation purchased for him by Christ. The Evan- 
gelical Arminian, as has already been shown, holds 
that God has, through the merit of Christ, removed 
the guilt of Adam's sin from the race, and that he 
has imparted a degree of spiritual life to ever)' soul 
of man, or, as it is otherwise expressed, removed a 
degree of spiritual death from every soul of man. 

384 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

The result is, that every man of the race is furnished 
b}' supernatural grace with ability to embrace the 
gospel offer whenever it is tendered to him. He is 
thus prepared for its reception. This divinely im- 
parted ability to receive it must be regarded as a 
prophecy and a pledge that it will be brought in con- 
tact with him; just as the divinely given ability of 
the child to receive food is a promise registered in its 
very make that the needed nourishment will be pro- 
vided for it. Why the receptive ability, in either 
case, if the thing to be received were never intended 
to be brought into relation to it? There would be a 
contradiction of a divine pledge implicitly but really 
stamped upon the nature of man — one-half of a divine 
arrangement, which supposes and guarantees another 
half as its complement ; another half which, how- 
ever, is wanting. The heathen are furnished with 
ample ability to embrace the gospel offer, but it is 
never brought into relation to countless multitudes 
of them. It is fair to ask. Where, upon such a sup- 
position, is the divine sincerity? It matters not that 
the heathen may be unconscious of this divine gift of 
gracious ability to receive the gospel. Tliat would 
only show that he is not conscious of God's infraction 
of the pledge inlaid in his being. The inconsistency 
is in the Arminian doctrine. That is all to which 
attention is called. God is represented as not fulfill- 
ing an implied, but real, pledge and guarantee. 

In one or other of the following ways it is conceiv- 
able that the Arminian may attempt to set aside this 

In the first place, he may contend that evangeliza- 
tion by Christian missionaries is not the only method 

Objection from Divhie Veracity. 385 

by which the heathen acquire a knowledge of the 
gospel scheme, but that they possess, apart from that 
method, a sufficient acquaintance with the promise of 
redemption to condition their salvation. When the 
objection to the Calvinistic doctrine of its inconsist- 
ency with the divine goodness was under considera- 
tion, this hypothesis was discussed and refuted. Some- 
thing more in regard to it may now, however, be 

It may be said that it is impossible to assign a limit 
of time beyond which the world in general ceased to 
have any saving acquaintance with the provisions of 
the gospel ; and that such instances as those of Job 
and Alelchisedec would appear to show that a knowl- 
edge of the gospel sufficient to save might be derived 
from the traditions of the Patriarchal dispensation, or 
by immediate revelation. 

The cases wliich are appealed to were those of per- 
sons who lived in the Patriarchal period ; and it is 
certainly unwarrantable to make them analogous to 
the case of the heathen who have lived after the ex- 
piration of the Jewish dispensation and the beginning 
of the Christian. Besides, they are entirely too extra- 
ordinary and exceptional to be pleaded as illustrating 
the condition of the masses of the heathen world. 
We are too ignorant concerning the question, who 
Melchisedec was, to employ his case as an element in 
this argument; and it may well be asked, What cases, 
since the commencement of the Christian dispensa- 
tion, have ever been discovered among the heathen 
which bore any resemblance to that of Job and his 
contemporaries? As Cornelius the Centurion lived in 
contact with the Jews, it is obvious that he deriv^ed his 

386 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

knowledge of the gospel from them: indeed, that fact 
is expressly mentioned in the history of his case. 

The hypothesis of an immediate revelation of the 
plan of redemption to the heathen is too wild and 
fanciful to merit serious refutation. There is one 
consideration which ought with those who accept the 
authority of the Scriptures to be decisive of this 
question. It is that Paul, the apostle to the heathen 
nations, plainly intimates in his epistles to the 
churches gathered out of them, that previously to the 
preaching of the gospel by Christian missionaries 
the members of those churches were destitute of any 
knowledo^e of the scheme of salvation. Who can 
doubt this that reads the description of the moral 
condition of the heathen, as given by him in the 
Bpistle to the Romans? And in the Epistle to the 
Ephesians he speaks expressly on the subject. He 
calls upon the members of the church at Ephesus to 
remember the ignorant and hopeless condition in 
which they were before they heard the gospel at his 
lips. "Wherefore," says he, "remember, that ye 
being in the time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are 
called uncircumcision by that which is called the cir- 
cumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that 
time ye were without Christ; being aliens from the 
commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the cov- 
enants of promise, having no hope, and without God 
in the world." ^ Here he tells the Ephesian believers 
that when they were heathen they were aliens from 
the commonwealth of Israel, that is to say, that they 
had no connection with the church of God; and in 
consequence of that fact that they were strangers to 
' Epb. ii. 12, 13. 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 387 

the covenants of promise, by which he means to say 
that they were ignorant of the gospeL Because they 
were not in contact with the church they could have 
no knowledge of the gospel. And because they were 
ignorant of the gospel, they were, he goes on to 
argue, without Christ; plainly intimating that there 
can be no saving relation to Christ apart from the 
knowledge of the gospel. Further, because they 
were without Christ, he declares that they were with- 
out God. Having in their heathen condition had no 
saving relation to Christ they could have had no sav- 
ing relation to God, and therefore they had no hope. 
In this passage the apostle plainly teaches that the 
heathen, apart from the evangelizing labors of Christ- 
ian missionaries, have no saving knowledge of the 
gospel, and that so long as that ignorance continues 
their condition is hopeless. 

In the Epistle to the Romans he makes a more 
general statement. He declares that it is necessary 
to the salvation of any man, wdiether Jew or Greek, 
that he call on the name of the Lord, and that no 
man could call on that name who had not heard it by 
means of preaching. This plainly intimates that 
without the preaching of the gospel none can have 
any saving acquaintance with it. As the heathen 
have not the preaching of the gospel, it follows that 
they have no knowledge of the gospel. 

Other arguments of a similar character might be 
derived from Scripture, but these are sufficient, with 
those who respect the authority of the divine Word, 
to refute the supposition that apart from the preach- 
ing of Christian missionaries the heathen possess any 
knowledge of the gospel scheme. 

388 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

With these representations of the condition of the 
heathen fnrnished in the New Testament Scriptures 
the observation of modern missionaries concurs. 
They meet no heathen who have any knowledge 
whatsoever of the gospel scheme. And it is evident 
that the missionary efiforts of Evangelical Arminian 
bodies are grounded in this supposition of ignorance 
of the gospel on the part of the heathen world. It 
cannot, in consistency with their admissions, be con- 
tended that they institute these efforts in order to 
impart to the heathen a clearer knowledge of the 
gospel than they are presumed already to possess. 
They go upon the theory that without the preaching 
of missionaries the heathen have no acquaintance 
with even the fundamental elements of the plan of 

If it be clear that without the preaching of the 
gospel de novo to the heathen they possess no knowl- 
edge of it, the difficulty remains that, according to the 
Arminian doctrine, God has given to masses of men 
an ability to accept the offer of salvation, and at the 
same time does not secure the extension of that offer 
to them. Consequently, the question in regard to 
the divine sincerity has not been answered. 

In the second place, the Arminian, in order to meet 
the difficulty in hand, may contend that the heathen 
who have no knowledge of the gospel are saved by 
an indirect application to them of the merits of 
Christ's atonement. But the essence of the theory of 
sufficient grace as imparted to all men is, that all are 
in this way enabled to embrace the offer of salvation 
— to repent of sin and believe in Christ. What is the 
office of this universally imparted ability, if the 

Objection from Divine Veracity . 389 

mode in which it is to be exerted, the things npon 
which it is designed to terminate, are completely nn- 
known by its possessors? Even were it supposed that 
the mercy of God may save the heathen who know 
not the gospel through the indirect and therefore un- 
consciously experienced application to them of the 
benefits of the atoneuient, what becomes of the di- 
vinely given ability directly and consciously to receive 
those benefits? There is an aptitude without the ob- 
ject to which it is suited, a power without the end 
which elicits its exercise, a divine constitution to the 
integrity of which two complementary elements are 
necessary, but from which one of them is absent. It 
is manifest that upon this hypothesis no account can 
be given of a universally imparted ability to receive 
the gospel offer, which would harmonize it with the 
sincerity of God. It would be a useless and therefore 
deceptive endowment, a prophecy without fulfilment, 
a beginning without a possible end. 

In the third place, the Arminian may contend that 
the ability furnished by grace to the heathen whoi 
have not the gospel is designed to enable them, in 
consequence of the atonement, to render such an 
obedience to the moral law, relaxed and accommo- 
dated to their weakness, as will secure their accept- 
ance with God. Had not this astounding theory 
been formally enunciated and supported, it might be 
deemed impossible that it should be introduced as an 
element into a Christian theology. But it is not a 
shadow which is conjured up. This doctrine, as al- 
ready pointed out, is stated and maintained by no less 
a theologian than Richard Watson. ^ Indeed, in the 
^ Theo. Itist., V. ii, p. 446. 

390 Calvinism- and Evangelical Arminianisju. 

passage in which he treats of the abih'ty possessed by 
the heathen, he does not even qnalify his statement 
by snpposing that the law is accommodated to their 
weak moral strength, bnt affirms that they are able to 
obey the law as "written on their hearts," that is, 
"the traditionary law the equity of which their con- 
sciences attested," that they are "capable of doing 
all the things contained in the law," "that all such 
Gentiles as were thus obedient should be 'justified 
in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men 
by Jesus Christ, according to his Gospel.' " But let 
it be admitted that these extraordinary utterances 
have reference to the moral law as relaxed and accom- 
modated to the moral strength of the heathen, and 
that the theory ought to be viewed as affected by the 
advantage which such an admission would furnish 
to it. 

It might easily be shown that the hypothesis of a 
relaxation of the moral law and its accommodation 
to the weak moral strength of the sinner is both un- 
scriptural and absurd ; that the possibility of tlie 
justification of any sinner, either upon the two-fold 
ground of the merits of Christ and his own personal 
obedience to law, or upon the sole ground of his own 
personal obedience, is contradicted alike by the 
explicit testimony of Scripture, the creeds of all 
Protestant Churches and the symbolical articles of 
Evangelical Arminian bodies ; that the doctrine of 
justification by faith alone, as set forth so clearly in 
the Word of God, bears upon the whole race of man, 
upon the heathen as well as upon those who possess 
a written revelation, — upon all these grounds the 
theory under consideration could, without difficulty, 

Objection froin Divine J^eracity. 391 

be convicted of being destitute of* truth. But the 
point which is now emphasized is, that it represents 
God as violating his own veracity. For, if anything 
is susceptible of proof it is that in his Word he de- 
clares that by the works of the law shall no flesh be 
justified. This theory by asserting that he imparts 
to some flesh, namely the heathen, ability to obey 
the law in order to their justification, represents him 
as contradicting the plainest statements of his Word. 
No flesh, no man living, shall be justified by the 
deeds of the law : some flesh, some men living,. may 
be justified by the deeds of the law — this is the flat 
contradiction in w^iich this extraordinary theory in- 
volves the God of truth. The alternatives are, either 
he is insincere in the teachings of his Word, or he is 
insincere in his dealings with the heathen. 

It has thus been shown that the difficulty that 
ability to accept the gospel offer is imparted to some 
to whom that offer is not actually made, a diflSculty 
growing directly from the doctrine of the Arminian 
and implicating him in the charge of representing 
God as insincere, is not met and removed by any of 
the methods by which he n;ay seek to accomplish 
that end. To say that God gives ability to all the 
heathen to attain salvation is to say, in relation to 
multitudes of them, that by his grace he enables 
them to do what by his providence he affords them no 
opportunitx' of doing. 

Thirdly, The Arminian charges the Calvinistic doc- 
trine as making God insincere in extending the gospel 
offer to non-elect men; but the Arminian doctrine is 
chargeable with making God insincere in extending 
that offer to any man. It has really the same diffi- 

392 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

culty to carry in relation to the extension of the offer 
to every man, which the Calvinistic doctrine has to 
bear with reference to its extension to some men. 
The objection urged against the Calvinistic doctrine 
is two- fold: in the first place, that God necessitated 
the inability of the sinner, and in the second place, 
that he makes to him an offer of salvation which, in 
consequence of that inability, he knows the sinner 
cannot accept. The first part of this objection is not 
pertinent. The Calvinistic doctrine denies that God 
necessitated the sinner's inability. The second part 
is pertinent. The Calvinist admits that God makes 
the offer of salvation to the sinner, knowing that he 
has not the ability in himself to accept it, and this 
difficulty he is bound to meet. The Arminian affirms 
that he is not confronted with that difficulty because, 
according to his doctrine, God bestows upon the sin- 
ner who hears the gospel offer the ability to embrace 
it. Now, if it can be proved that the ability which 
the Arminian affirms to be conferred upon the sinner 
is really no ability at all, it will be shown that the 
Arminian doctrine labors under precisely the same 
difficulty with the Calvinistic, aggravated, however, 
by the consideration that it holds with respect to the 
extension of the gospel to all men; whereas the Cal- 
vinistic has to meet it, only with respect to the tender 
of that offer to some men — namely, the non-elect. 

The proof that the ability to accept the gospel offer, 
which the Arminian asserts to be imparted to the sin- 
ner, is really no sufficient ability, has been furnished 
in the preceding part of this discussion. There the 
argument going to show the utter insufficiency of this 
alleged ability divinely conferred upon the unregen- 

Objection from Divine Veracity. 393 

erate sinner was prosecnted with some thoroughness. 
It is unnecessary to repeat it here. 

If, therefore, it can be evinced tliat the Calvinist 
represents God as insincere because he extends the 
gospel offer to the non-elect who are unable to accept 
it, for the very same reason it can be proved that the 
Arminian represents God as insincere in communi- 
cating that offer to all men. The Arminian has no 
right to urge an objection against the Calvinistic doc- 
trine which really presses with still greater weight 
upon his own. 

This concludes the discussion of the objections 
against the Calvinistic doctrines of election and rep- 
robation, which are grounded in their alleged incon- 
sistency with the moral attributes of God. 



I PASS on, finally, to answer those objections to the 
Calvinistic doctrines of election and reprobation 
which are derived from the Moral Agency of Man. 

This, for two reasons, will be done briefly. In the 
first place, the preceding discussion, in which objec- 
tions to these doctrines drawn from the moral attri- 
butes of God were subjected to a thorough-going ex- 
amination, has swept away much of the ground upon 
which the Arminian erects difficulties professedly 
growing out of the relations between' the divine effic- 
iency and the agency of the human will. Again and 
again, by repeated statement itsqiie ad nauseam^ which 
could only have been justified, and was fully justified, 
by the common misconception and consequent mis- 
representation of the true doctrine of symbolic Cal- 
vinism, and the importance of its being stated and 
expounded with a clearness and fulness that would 
render misapprehension impossible, it has been shown, 
that the causal efficiency of God did not so operate 
upon the will of man as to determine it to the com- 
mission of the first sin and thus to necessitate the 
Fall. Man sinned by a free — that is, not a merely 
spontaneous, but an avoidable, decision of his own 


Objection from Moral Agency of Man. 395 

will. For this even Twisse, the great Snpralapsarian, 
explicitly contends. It has also been evinced, by a 
minute analysis of the doctrine of the Evangelical 
Arniinian concerning the human will after the Fall, 
that he is shut up to a choice between two alterna- 
tives : either, that the prevenient and sufficient grace 
which he affirms to be conferred upon all men is re- 
generating grace; or, that it is the natural will, clothed 
with the power to accept or to reject the aid of super- 
natural grace, which determines the question of prac- 
tical salvation. If he adopts the former alternative 
he admits the Calvinistic doctrine, so far as the nature 
of the grace is concerned, though not the numerical 
extent of its bestowal. If he chooses the latter alter- 
native, he makes, in the last resort, common cause 
with the Pelagian. If he concedes prevenient and 
sufficient grace to be regenerating, he, along with the 
Calvinist, is pressed by the difficulty of reconciling 
the determining efficacy of God's will with the free 
action of the human will. If he denies that grace to 
be regenerating, he, along with the Pelagian, gets 
quit of the difficulty mentioned, but, with him, en- 
counters the greater, of showing how a sinful will, 
undetermined by the divine efficiency, determines it- 
self to tlie generation of holy dispositions and the 
performance of saving acts. 

In the second place, as it has been the design of 
this treatise, in the main, to consider the peculiar and 
distinctive doctrines of Evangelical Arminians in 
connection with election and reprobation, it would 
not comport with that purpose elaborately to examine 
the ground which is common between them and the 
earlier Arminians of the Remonstrant type. There is 

396 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

at bottom but little to discriminate the one system 
from the other as far as the moral agency of man is 
involved. So much as differentiates the Evangelical 
Arminian scheme, in regard to the relation of the 
human will to the grace of redemption, has passed 
under strict review in the foregoing remarks. For 
these reasons, what is to be said under this head of 
the subject will be compressed within narrow limits. 
Certain things must be premised. The meaning of 
the terms employed in the discussion ought to be 
definitely fixed;, otherwise no satisfactory result can be 
reached. Nothing is more common among Calvinists 
than this remark, which is by many accepted as 
almost an axiom: The attempt to reconcile the sov- 
ereignty of God and the free agency of man is hope- 
less and therefore gratuitous. God is sovereign: man 
is a free-agent. Both these propositions are true. 
I^ach is separately established by its own independent 
evidence. Each, therefore, is to be maintained. 
Our inability to evince their consistency is no ground 
for rejecting either. Let us leave their reconciliation 
to another sphere of being, satisfied in this with the 
reflection that they are not contradictions. There is 
a sense in which all this is true; but, without qualifi- 
cations of its meaning and definitions of its terms, 
the dictum as one of universal validity is so vague as 
to settle nothing. What is meant by one of the terms 
of the contrast — the sovereignty of God? It may be 
conceived as that aspect of the divine will which is 
expressed in both his efficient and permissive decrees. 
Accordingly it may be apprehended as in some in- 
stances absolutely pre-determining events, and as in 
others bounding, ordering and governing events which 

Objection from Moral Agency of Man. 397 

are not absolutely predetermined, but permitted to 
occur. Or, again, the sovereignty of God may be 
conceived as thaX- aspect of his will which is expressed 
alone in efficient decree, and as therefore absolutely 
pre-determining events. Now it is evident that the 
question of reconciling the free-agency of man with 
that sort of divine sovereignty which operates in con- 
nection with permissive decree is a very different one 
from the question of reconciling the free-agency of 
man with that kind of sovereignty which operates 
in connection with efficient decree and absolute pre- 
determination. This distinction cannot be disre- 
garded, if we would get a clear apprehension of the 
state of the question. 

What, next, is meant by the other term of the con- 
trast — the free-agency of man ? I shall not here pause 
to discuss the unnecessary question, whether there is 
not a difference between the freedom of the will and 
the freedom of the man; but shall assume that there 
is no such difference worth contending about, since 
the will is precisely the power through which the 
freedom of the man expresses itself. To affirm or 
deny the freedom of the will is the same thing as to 
affirm or deny the freedom of the man. The very 
question is, whether or not the man is free in willing, 
or free to will. If he is not free in respect to his will, 
it is certain that he is not in respect to any other fac- 
ulty. Now, if we may credit the common judgment 
of mankind, there are two distinct kinds of freedom 
which ought never to be confounded. The one is the 
freedom of deliberate election between opposing alter- 
natives, of going in either of two directions, the free- 
dom, as it is sometimes denominated, of otherwise 

39^ Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

determining. The other is the freedom of a fixed 
and determined spontaneity. It might have been 
well if these two things had always been kept dis- 
tinct; if the X.^x\\\ freedom had been restricted to the 
former, and the term spontaneity had been assigned 
to the latter. This was the jndgment of so acute and 
judicious a thinker as Calvin, and had that course 
been pursued a vast amount of logomachy would have 
been avoided. Let us illustrate the importance and 
test the accuracy of this abstract distinction by con- 
crete cases. Man in innocence possessed the freedom 
of deliberate election between the opposite alterna- 
tives of sin and holiness. So has the Church univer- 
sal held. He may have chosen either. He was not 
determined by a fixed moral spontaneity either to 
holiness or to sin. Man in his fallen and unregener- 
ate condition does not possess the freedom of deliber- 
ate election between the opposing alternatives of holi- 
ness and sin. By his first fatal act of transgression, 
he determined his spiritual condition as one of fixed 
spontaneity in the single direction of sin. He is 
spontaneously free to choose sin, but he is not, with- 
out grace, free deliberately to elect holiness. Here 
then is a case of spontaneous freedom, but not of the 
freedom of deliberate choice between conflicting alter- 
natives. Man as a saint in glory has not the freedom 
of deliberate election between the alternatives of holi- 
ness and sin; he is determined by a fixed spontaneity 
in the direction of holiness. He is spontaneously 
free in the choice of holiness, but he is not free delib- 
erately to elect sin. When, therefore, it is assumed 
that the free-agency of man is an independent truth 
resting upon its own indisputable evidence, it must 

Objection from Moral Agejtcy of Mari. 399 

be inquired, Which of these kinds of free-agency is 
meant? For it is of vital importance to know in 
what sense the Wrm is employed. And it is also of 
the greatest consequence to understand in what cir- 
cumstances man is contemplated, when free-agency 
in either one or the other sense is predicated of him. 

Let us now apply these obvious distinctions between 
two forms of divine sovereignty on the one hand, and 
.two kinds of human freedom on the other, to the 
maxim which has been cited in regard to the recon- 
cilability of the sovereignty of God and the free- 
agency of man. Let it be observ^ed that in this dic- 
tum the sovereignty of God is regarded as his efficient 
and pre-determining will. It is plain that the ques- 
tion is not, how the free-agency of man can be recon- 
ciled with the sovereignty of God considered as his 
permissive will. It is only when the free action of 
the human will is viewed in its relation to the efficient 
and pre-determining will of God that apparent con- 
tradiction results — an apparent contradiction with 
which it is said we must rest content in our present 
sphere of thought. 

How was it in the case of man before the Fall ? If 
lie possessed the freedom of deliberate election be- 
tween the opposite alternatives of holiness and sin, if 
he was free to sin and free to abstain from sinning, it 
would seem to be clear that God did not by his effic- 
ient will pre-determine that he should sin; for in that 
case, the sin of man would have been necessitated 
and therefore unavoidable. On the other hand, if 
God had efficaciously pre-determined man's sin, it 
would seem to be equally clear that man could not 
have had the freedom of deliberate election between 

400 Calvinis77i and Evangelical Armiitianism. 

holiness and sin, between sinning and not sinning. 
To say that God pre-determined the first sin, and that 
man was free to abstain from its commission, that is, 
that he might not have sinned, would be to affirm not 
merely an apparent, but a real contradiction. As pre- 
determined by the divine will to sin he was obliged 
to sin; as free to abstain from sinning he was not 
obliged to sin. The contradiction is patent. This 
contradiction is not inherent in the Calvinistic doc- 
trine. The Calvinistic Confessions, which surely 
ought to be accepted as exponents of Calvinism, 
affirm that man before the Fall was possessed of the 
freedom of deliberate election between the alterna- 
tives of sin and holiness ; and they also teach that 
God decreed to permit — they do not assert that he 
efficiently decreed — the first sin. There is conse- 
quently no question of reconciling the free-agency of 
man before the Fall with the sovereignty of God con- 
sidered as his efficient and pre-determining will, so 
far as the first sin is concerned. The relation was 
between the sovereignty of God as his permissive 
will and the freedom of man deliberately to choose 
between the opposite alternatives of holiness and sin; 
and whatever difficulties may arise in connection with 
that relation, they cannot be regarded as involving 
even a seeming contradiction. 

The inquiry next arises. What is the relation be- 
tween the sovereign will of God and the free-agency 
of man after the Fall ? In his fallen condition, un- 
modified by the influence of supernatural grace, man 
does not possess the freedom of deliberate election 
between the contrary alternatives of sin and holiness. 
That sort of freedom, as has been shown, he had in 

Objection from Moral Agejicy of Man. 401 

his estate of innocence, but lie lost it when he fell. 
By his own free, that is, unnecessitated, self-decision 
in favor of sin, he established in his soul a fixed and 
determined spontaneity in tlie direction of sin. He 
sins freely, in the sense of spontaneously; in sinning- 
he is urged by no compulsory force exerted by a 
divine influence either upon him or through him, but 
follows the bent of his own inclination — in a word, 
does as he pleases. He is not, however, free to be 
holy or to do holy acts. Spiritually disabled, he is 
no more free to produce holiness than is a dead man 
to generate life. When, therefore, it is affirmed that 
man is a free-agent in his sinful and unregenerate 
condition, it must be demanded, what sort of free- 
agency is meant. If the freedom of choosing between 
sin and holiness be intended, the affirmation is not 
true. He only possesses the freedom which is im- 
plied by a fixed spontaneity in accordance with which 
he pleases to sin. Only in that sense is he a free- 
agent, as to spiritual things. In inquiring, whether 
the free-agency of man in his sinful and unregenerate 
condition can be reconciled with the sovereign will 
of God as efficient and determinative, it must be re- 
membered that it is only the freedom of sinful spon- 
taneity concerning which the inquiry is possible. It 
alone, and not the freedom of election between sin 
and holiness, is one of the terms of the relation. 
What this relation is between the sinful spontaneity 
of the unregenerate man and the sovereign will of 
God as efficient and determining, I will not now dis- 
cuss/ for the reason that the matter which is under 

^ The doctrine of Calvin upon that subject I presented in the 
Soutliern Presbyterian Revieiv, for October, 1880. 

402 Calvinis7n and Evangelical Arminianism. 

consideration here is the relation between the sove- 
reignty of God and the free-agency of man in respect 
to the great concern of practical salvation. 

Before the regeneration of a sinner the qnestion 
of reconciling his free-agency as to spiritual things 
with the sovereignty of God viewed as efficient can- 
not exist, for the plain reason that the un regenerate 
man has no such free-agency. He is not free to 
choose holiness, to accept in his natural strength the 
gospel offer and to believe on Christ unto salvation. 
It is not intended to affirm that God positively inter- 
poses hindrances in the way of his performing these 
spiritual acts, or that the legal obstacles in the way 
of his salvation have not been removed by the atoning 
work and merit of the Saviour. The contrary is true. 
Nor is the ground taken, that the un regenerate sinner 
is not under obligation to obey the call and com- 
mand of God to all men to comply with the terms 
of the gospel, or that he is not bound to use such 
means of grace as are divinely placed in his power, or 
that he has no natural ability and opportunities to 
employ those means. But although all this is con- 
ceded, still the doctrine of Scripture is that he has no 
freedom to will his own spiritual life, and conse- 
quently no freedom, in the absence of that life, to 
wnll the existence of spiritual dispositions and the 
discharge of spiritual functions. His spontaneous 
habitudes are exclusively sinful: he is dead in tres- 
passes and sins. To talk then of reconciling the 
sovereignty of God with the free-agency in spiritual 
things of the unregenerate sinner is to talk of re- 
conciling that sovereignty with nothing. One of the 
terms of the supposed relation is absent, and the re- 

objection from Moral Agency of Man, 403 

latioii is non-existent. There is no problem to be 
solved. The influence of the Spirit of God upon the 
sinner before reg-eneration, however powerful, is 
simply illuminating and suasive. It enlightens, in- 
structs and convinces, warns, invites and persuades; 
but as such divine operations are confessedly not de- 
termining, the problem under consideration does not 
emerge in connection with them. 

Nor can it occur in respect to regeneration itself. 
In the supreme moment of regeneration, which from 
tlie nature of the case is an instantaneous act of 
almighty power, the sinner can be nothing more than 
the passive recipient of a newly created principle of 
life. The omnipotent grace of God efficaciously 
causes a new spiritual existence, makes the previously 
dead sinner a new creature in Christ Jesus. The 
ability to w'ill holiness, the freedom to choose it, are 
thus divinely produced. Free-agency in regard to 
spiritual things is originated. That sort of free- 
agency not having existed until called into being by 
the regenerating act, it is idle to talk of reconciling 
it with the sovereign and efficient will of God ex- 
pressed in that act. The only reconciliation, in the 
case, which it is possible to conceive is that between 
a producing cause and its effects; and it would be un- 
meaning to speak of their reconciliation before the 
effect is produced. 

After the regeneration of the sinner has been ef- 
fected, the question as to the reconciliation of divine 
sovereignty and human free-agency becomes a perti- 
nent one, and, I am free to confess, an insoluble one. 
It is clearly the teaching of the Scriptures that God 
determines the will of the renewed man to holiness, 

404 Catvi7iism and Evangelical Arminiamsm. 

and also that the will of the renewed man freely, that 
is, spontaneously chooses holiness. The renewed na- 
ture, after being started into existence, is not left to 
develop the principle of life, like a potential germ, in 
accordance with inherent and self-acting laws or spir- 
itual forces. It continually needs fresh infusions of 
grace, new accessions of spiritual strength; and the 
grace which created the nature, and implanted in it 
the principle of spiritual life, is necessary not only to 
sustain that life, but also to determine its activities. 
At the same time the renewed_ nature spontaneously 
exerts its own energies. In a word, God determines 
the renewed will, but the renewed will acts in accord- 
ance with its own spontaneous elections. A single 
explicit passage of Scripture proves this representa- 
tion of the case to be correct. The apostolic injunc- 
tion is: "Work out your own salvation with fear and 
trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both 
to will and to do of his good pleasure." ^ 

How this is so, who can explain? It is a mystery 
unfathomed, and probably, in the present sphere of 
thought, unfathomable. The difficulty does not con- 
sist in the fact that God creates a will endowed with 
the power of free, spontaneous action. He also cre- 
ates the intellect and the feelings with their own 
spontaneous activities. But the difficulty lies in this: 
that having created a will with ability spontaneously 
to elect its own acts, he by an efficient influence de- 
termines those acts. This he did not do in the in- 
stance of man before the Fall. He did not determine 
his spontaneous activities. But this he does in the 
case of the believer in Christ, so far as he is regener- 
^ Phil. ii. 12, 13. 

Objection .fro7n Moral Agency of Man. 405 

ate and his will is renewed, and in the case of the 
saint in glory. Here the maxim, which has been the 
snbject of criticism in these remarks, holds good. In 
our inability specnlatively to harmonize the sovereign 
efficiency of God with the spontaneous freedom of the 
saint, w^e are obliged to accept both facts upon the 
authority of the divine Word. Both being true, there 
can be no real contradiction between them ; and our 
impotence to effect their reconciliation is but one of 
the many lessons which enforce the humility spring- 
ing from the limitation of our faculties, furnish scope 
for the exercise of faith, and stimulate to the quest of 
truth. But formidable as this difficulty is, it is not 
the insuperable difficulty involved in the supposition 
that the efficient determination of the divine will con- 
sists with the freedom of deliberate election between 
contrary alternatives, on the part of the human will. 
The one may be inconceivable; the other is incredible. 

The bearing of this statement of the distinctions 
which ought to be observed touching divine sover- 
eignty and human free-agency upon the objections to 
the doctrines of election and reprobation will be ap- 
parent as those objections shall be considered. It 
goes far towards answering them by anticipation, and 
will justify brevity in dealing with them. 

First, It is alleged that these doctrines are incon- 
sistent with liberty and therefore with moral account- 

Secondly, It is alleged that these doctrines are in- 
consistent with personal effiDrts to secure salvation. 

We must divide. As election influences only the 
case of the elect, the question is, first, whether it is 
inconsistent with their liberty and moral account- 

4o6 Calvinisin and Evangelical Arminianis7n. 

ability; and, secondly, whether it is inconsistent with 
their efforts to secnre salvation. The only mode in 
which it can be conceived to be inconsistent with 
their free moral agency in these forms is, that by 
means of efficacions grace it irresistibly effects the 
production of holiness. 

1. It is admitted that such is the result of election 
upon the elect. 

2. This, however, does not prove it to be inconsist- 
ent with their free moral agency, but the contrary, 
for the following reasons: 

(i.) Did not grace create a will to be holy, there 
could be no such will in a sinner. As has been al- 
ready shown, he lost the liberty of willing holiness by 
reason of sin. He cannot, in his own strength, re- 
cover it. The dead cannot recover life. As, then, 
efiBcacious grace, the fruit of election, restores to him 
the liberty to will holiness, so far from being incon- 
sistent with that liberty, it is proved to be its only 
cause. How a cause can be inconsistent with its 
effect, and an effect due to its operation alone, it is 
impossible to see. Upon this point the Evangelical 
Arminian maintains contradictory positions. He 
holds that as man is naturally dead in sin, he cannot 
of himself will holiness. Grace must give him that 
ability, that is, that spiritual liberty to will holiness. 
But he also holds that if grace does this, it destroys 
the liberty of the moral agent. 

(2.) The liberty and moral accountability of the 
elect cannot be destroyed by election, acting by 
means of efficacious and determininfr erace, for if 
it were, there could be no such thing as immuta- 
ble confirmation in holiness. But Kvano-elical Ar- 

Objection from Moral Agency of Man. 407 

minians themselves admit the fact that the glorified 
saints are confirmed in holiness, so as to be beyond 
the dano^er of a fall. Now, there are only two sup- 
positions possible: either, the glorified saints are con- 
firmed by virtue of their own culture of holy habits, 
that is to say, by virtue of the holy characters which 
they themselves have formed; or, they are confirmed 
by the determining grace of God. The first supposi- 
tion is manifestly inconsistent with the confirmation 
of infants dying in infancy, and of adults who, like 
the penitent thief on the cross, are transferred to 
heaven without having had the opportunity of de- 
veloping holy characters on earth. The second sup- 
position must therefore be adopted, to wit, that the 
saints in glory are confirmed in their standing by the 
infusions of determining grace. But it surely will 
not be contended that they are deprived of liberty 
and moral accountability on that account. No more, 
then, are saints on earth. The principle is precisely 
the same in both cases. Further, Evangelical Ar- 
minians acknowledge that those who reach heaven 
are elected to final salvation. If election, according 
to their own admission, is not inconsitent with the 
liberty and moral accountability of moral agents in 
heaven, why should it be held to be inconsistent with 
those attributes in moral aijents on earth? 

(3.) The doctrine of Prayer, as held by both Evan- 
gelical Arminians and Calvinists, completely refutes 
this objection. Prayer is a confession of human help- 
lessness, a cry for the intervention of almighty and 
efficacious grace. When we cannot deliver ourselves, 
we appeal to God for deliverance. When our wills 
are confessedly impotent, we implore grace to quicken 

4o8 Calvijiism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

and determine them. We pray not merely to be 
helped, but to be saved. Would he, whose feet are 
stuck fast in the horrible pit and the miry clay, be 
relieved by such an answer to his prayers as Hercules 
is fabled to have given to the wagoner: Help yourself, 
and then I will help you ? I cannot help myself, Ife 
cries; O Lord, pluck thou my feet out of the horrible 
pit and out of the miry clay. When God answers his 
prayer, delivers him, puts his feet upon a rock, and a 
new song in his mouth, does he interfere with the sup- 
pliant's liberty and moral accountability ? If so, the 
more of such interference, the better for despairing 
sinners. Its absence is hell; its presence is heaven. 
The case is too plain to need argument. Let the ex- 
perience of converted sinners decide. 

(4.) The sudden, overwhelming, irresistible conver- 
sion of some men furnishes an answ^er to this objec- 
tion. The fact of such conversions Wesley frankly 
admitted. How could he help it ? Had he not seen 
them with his own eyes? Had he not read of them 
in the Bible? And are such conversions incompatible 
with the liberty and moral accountability of those 
who are their blessed subjects ? When Saul of Tarsus, 
the hater of Jesus, the sava-ge inquisitor thirsting for 
the blood of the saints, was suddenly, overwhelm- 
ingly, irresistibly converted and transmuted into a 
flaming preacher of the Cross, was the supernatural, 
efficacious and determining transformation inconsist- 
ent with his liberty and moral accountability? 

(5.) The doctrine of a Special Providence, main- 
tained alike by Evangelical Arminians and Calvin- 
ists, overthrows this objection. It is confessed to be 
a scriptural truth, that God by an influence exerted 

Objection from Moral Agency of Man. 409 

in his natural providence upon the minds and hearts 
of men often determines their thoughts, inclinations 
and purposes, without violating- their liberty and 
accountability. Why, then, should it be thought a 
thing incredible that he may, with the same result, 
exercise a like determining influence by his grace? 
What is grace but special providence running in re- 
demptive moulds? The argument here from analogy 
is conclusive. To deny determining grace is to 
deny determining providence. To admit determin- 
ing providence is to admit determining grace. 

3. Election caiinot be inconsistent with personal 
efforts to secure salvation. 

(i.) An obvious reason is, that its very design is to 
accomplish that result. This is its teleology. How 
can those be hindered from believing, repenting and 
performing the duties of holiness, by that which is the 
sole cause of faith, repentance and holy living? And 
it must be remembered, that these graces are not 
merely means, but parts, of salvation. Those, there- 
fore, who are elected to be saved are elected to be- 
lieve, to repent, and to bring forth all the fruits of 
holiness. To say that election is not inconsistent 
with efforts to secure salvation is not enough : it is 
the producing cause of those efforts. Without it 
they never would be put forth ; with it they certainly 
will. Did the elect not employ these efforts they 
would defeat God's predestinating purpose. That 
such is his purpose was incontestably proved by 
Scripture testimony in the former part of this treatise. 

(2.) Election is not inconsistent with the use of the 
means of grace, for the plain reason that the use of 
those means by the elect is included in the electing 

4IO Calvhiism and Evangelical Arjninianisj7t, 

decree. The means of grace are the Word of God, 
the Sacraments and Prayer. These means the elect 
are predestinated to employ, in order to the attain- 
ment of salvation as the predestinated end. 

Hozv the determining- grace of God, which is the 
fruit of election, consists with the free, that is, spon- 
taneous, action of the human will is, as has been 
confessed, a mystery which cannot be explained. 
But not only is the consistency a fact clearly asserted 
by the Scriptures, but the denial of it would be the 
denial of the possibility of salvation ; for did not 
God's grace determine the will of the sinner towards 
salvation it is absolutely certain that it would never 
be so determined. And, further, to deny the fact is 
to deny the possibility of heavenly confirmation in 
holiness ; which is to deny what Arminians admit. 

4. The remaining question is, whether the decree 
of reprobation is inconsistent with the free moral 
agency of the non-elect sinner. 

(i.) That ground can only be taken upon the sup- 
position, that as God in consequence of election irre- 
sistibly produces the holiness of the elect, so in con- 
sequence of reprobation he irresistibly produces the 
sins of the reprobate. This position has already been 
abundantly refuted. God is not the author of sin ; 
nor does the Calvinistic doctrine affirm that he is. 
On the contrary it solemnly maintains that he is not; 
and teaches, that, in the first instance, man had ample 
ability to refrain from sinning, and that he sinned by 
a free and avoidable election of his own will. The 
objection under consideration represents the Calvinist 
as holding that man sinned at first and sins now be- 
cause he was reprobated. This is an utter mistake. 

Objection from Moral Agency of Man, 411 

He holds that every man who is reprobated was rep- 
robated because he sinned. It is palpably clear, there- 
fore, that, as reprobation had nothing to do in bring- 
ing about sin in the first instance, in that instance it 
was simply impossible that it could have been incon- 
sistent with the free moral agency of man. The ob- 
jection amounts to this absurdity: man freely sinned 
and was therefore reprobated; consequently, reproba- 
tion so obstructed the free-agency of man that he 
could not avoid sinning ! 

(2.) The decree of reprobation infuses no sinful 
principle or disposition into men now. Their in- 
ability to obey God, and their positive inclination to 
disobey him, are the results of their own free and 
unnecessitated choice, in the first instance, and their 
indisposition to avail themselves of the offer of salva- 
tion, and to put forth efforts to secure holiness, is 
what they now spontaneously elect. They do not 
desire holiness, and God is under no obligation to 
change their wills by his grace. If it be said, that 
they cannot choose holiness and salvation because 
they are reprobated, it is suflficient to reply, first, that 
they are reprobated because they did not choose holi- 
ness, and do not choose it now, but chose sin, and 
choose it now ; and, secondly, that they cannot 
choose holiness because they will not, and reproba- 
tion precisely coincides with their own wills. To 
say that they do not will to be damned, is only to say 
that they are not willing to experience the retributive 
results of their own self-elected conduct. Of course, 
they are not. No criminal is willing to be hanged. 
But if he was willing to commit the crime for which 
he is hanged, his hanging is of his owa getting. 

412 Calvinism, and Evangelical Arminianism. 

The sentence of the judge is not inconsistent with his 
free-agency when he perpetrated the deed. God 
gives no man the will to sin, but he justly inflicts the 
doom of self-elected sin. Nor can his sentence of 
reprobation be, in any sense, regarded as the cause of 
that doom. It inflicts w^hat the sinner has freely 
chosen. In fine, reprobation is no further incon- 
sistent with the sinner's seekinof salvation than is his 
own will. He does not wish to be holy, and repro- 
bation keeps him where he desires to be. Reproba- 
tion did not cause sin ; it justly punishes it. 



The affirmation or denial of the doctrine of Un- 
conditional Election, the consideration of which has 
now been closed, must stamp the complexion of one's 
wdiole theology. It is one of the most controlling of 
all doctrines, in the influence it exerts upon the 
formation of a theological system. If it be admitted, 
the whole provision of redemption is viewed as de- 
signed to effect the certain salvation of the elect, 
Christ as a Saviour appointed to save his people from 
their sins, and the atonement as offered for them in 
order to secure that result. Total depravity and total 
inability are logically supposed ; for if unconditional 
election be a fact, man is contemplated as utterly 
unable to accomplish anything, even the least, in the 
way of saving himself. The application of salvation, 
at every step from the beginning to the end, accords 
with the sovereign purpose of God, by his own power 
to recover the sinner from his condition of despair. 
The grace which saves is efficacious and invincible. 
Synergism in order to regeneration becomes im- 
possible. Faith in Christ is seen to be a pure gift of 
grace. Justification is acknowledged to be due to 


414 Cahnnism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

tlie gratuitous imputation of another's righteousness, 
and as that righteousness is the perfect obedience to 
the Law, rendered by the incarnate Son of God in 
conformity with the terms of an eternal covenant 
between God the Father and himself as the Head and 
Representative of an elect seed given to him to be 
redeemed, their justification in him involves an in- 
defectible life. The same is seen to be true of adop- 
tion, which forever fixes the regenerate children of 
God in his paternal regards. The life of the saints 
cannot be lost. Sanctification is viewed as the pro- 
cess by which the Spirit makes the elect meet for the 
heavenly inheritance won inalienably for them by 
their glorious Surety and Substitute ; and their per- 
severance in grace is the necessary result. In fine, 
this doctrine reduces redemption to unity, as a 
scheme originating in the mere good pleasure and 
sovereign determination of God, supposing the de- 
pendence of man's will upon God's will, making the 
salvation of those whom God chooses as his people 
absolutely certain, and necessitating the ascription of 
the whole, undivided glory of the completed plan to 
the free, efficacious and triumphant grace of God. 
Nothing is projected which is not executed, nothing 
begun whicli is not finished, nothing promised which 
is not done. Conceived in the infinite intelligence 
of God, the scheme is consummated by his infinite 
power, and the results are commensurate with the 
infinite glory of his name. 

If, on the other hand, unconditional election is de- 
nied, the genius of redemption becomes contingency. 
The atonement was offered to make the salvation of 
all men only possible; the human will has the power 

Transitional Observations. 4I5 

to accept or reject the tender of assisting grace and 
decides the supren>e question of receiving or not re- 
ceiving Christ as a Saviour; repentance and faith pre- 
cede receneration-the sinner with the subsidiary help 
of grac; arranges for liis own new creation and resur- 
rection from tlie death of sin; the effects of justifica- 
tion and adoption are conditioned upon the continued 
choice of the human will to avail itself of them; and 
the man may by his own election reach heaven ,n 
order to God's electing him to that end, or although 
having been regenerated, justified, adopted and, it 
Ly be, entirely sanctified, he may at last all from 
the threshold of glory into hopeless perdition A 
,„ac.iiificent scheme of divine philanthropy, embrac- 
ing'' in its arms the whole world, professing to make 
the salvation of all men possible, it miscarries in con- 
sequence of its dependence upon the mutable state 
and the contingent action of the human will, and m 
its completion issues in the actual salvation of no 
more souls than unconditional election proposes to 
save Its poverty of result is as great as its richness 
in promise: its achievement in inverse ratio to its 

^ It'ls proposed now to go on and compare the 
schemes of Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism, 
in re>'ard to the doctrine of Justification by Faith. 
In order to a clear view of the case, the Calv.nistic 
doctrine will first be stated, without an immediate 
presentation of its proofs, and the Evangelical Ar- 
miniau will be subjected to a somewhat particular: ex- 
amination-examination, I say, for it is a question of 
no mean difficulty what exactly it is. Such proofs 
of the former doctrine as may be furnished will be 
submitted during the discussion of the latter. 



The Calviiiistic doctrine may be stated under three 
heads: first, the Ground of Justification; secondly, its 
Constituent Elements, or Nature; thirdly, its human 
Condition or Instrument. 

I. The Ground of Justification, or, what is the 
same, its Matter or Material Cause, is the vicarious 
righteousness of Christ imputed to the belie.ver. This 
is the obedience of Christ, as the appointed Substi- 
tute of the sinner, to the precept and the penalty of 
the Moral Law: what Paul denominates the righteous- 
ness of God which is revealed from faith to faith. It 
is fitly termed the righteousness of God, not only 
because it was provided and accepted by God, but 
because it was wrought out by God himself in the 
person of Ins Incarnate Son. It is God's righteous- 
ness because Ood produced it. This is judicially im- 
puted by God the Father to the believing sinner, who 
had no share at all in its conscious production. In 
that sense, it is not his, but another's, righteousness 
—justitia aliena. But as Christ was his Surety and 
Representative and Christ's righteousness was impu- 
ted to him, it becomes, in this sense, his righteous- 
ness. It is his in law, before the divine tribunal; not 


Calvinistic Doctrhte of Justification. 417 

his as infused and constituting a subjective character, 
but his as a formal investiture of his person. God, 
tlierefore, is just in justifying him since, although 
consciously and subjectively a sinner, he possesses in 
Christ a perfect righteousness, such as the law de- 
mands in order to justification, and such as satisfies 
its claims. When the sinner by faith accepts Christ 
with this righteousness, he has an adequate ground 
of justification: consciously has it, so that he can 
plead it before God. 

2. The Constituent Elements of justification are, 
first, the pardon, or non-imputation, of guilt ; 
secondly, the acceptance of the sinner's person as 
righteous, involving his investiture with a right and 
title to eternal life. Taken generally, justification 
may be said to consist of three things : first, the im- 
putation of Christ's righteousness ; secondly, the 
non-imputation of guilt, or pardon ; thirdly, the 
acceptance of the sinner's person as righteous and 
the bestowal upon him of a right and title to eternal 
life. But taken strictly, justification is pardon and 
the eternal acceptance of the sinner's person. The 
ground and the constituent elements are not to be 
confounded. It is not: justification is the non-im- 
putation of guilt and the imputation of righteousness, 
which would seem to be the natural antithesis ; but 
first comes the imputed righteousness of Christ as the 
ground, and then the elements or parts, — namely, 
pardon, and acceptance with a title to indefectible 

3. The Condition on man's part, or the Instru- 
ment, of justification is Faith, and faith alone. In 
receiving Christ, as a justifying Saviour, it receives 


4i8 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

and rests upon Christ's righteousness, as the ground of 
justification. God imputes this righteousness and the 
sinner embraces it by faith. In describing faith as the 
condition of justification, an indispensable distinction 
is to be noted. The only meritorious condition of jus- 
tification was performed by Christ. As the Repre- 
sentative of his people he undertook to furnish that 
perfect obedience to the precept of the Law which, 
under the Covenant of Works, was required of Adam 
as the representative of his seed and which he failed 
to render, and, in addition, to furnish a perfect obedi- 
ence to the penalty of the violated law. Upon the 
fulfilment of this condition the justification of his seed 
was suspended. This condition he completely fulfilled 
in his life and in his death, and thus meritoriously 
secured justification for his seed. But in the applica- 
tion of redemption to the sinner, he is required to ex- 
ercise faith in Christ and his righteousness, in order 
to his conscious union with Christ as a Federal Head, 
and his actual justification. In this sense, faith is to 
him the condition of his justification. It is simply an 
i indispensable duty on his part — a conditio sine qua 
non. He cannot be consciously and actually justified 
without faith; but his faith has no particle of merit. 
All merit is in Christ alone. Faith involves the abso- 
lute renunciation of merit, and absolute reliance upon 
the meritorious obedience of Christ. Faith, then, is 
simply the instrument by which Christ and his right- 
eousness are received in order to justification. It is 
emptiness filled with Christ's fulness; impotence lying 
down upon Christ's strength. It is no righteousness; 
it is not a substitute for righteousness; it is not im- 
puted as righteousness. It is counted to us simply as 

Calvinistic Doch'inc of Justification. 419 

the act which apprehends Christ's rigliteousness unto 
justification. All it does is to take what God gives — 
Christ and his righteousness: Christ as the justifying 
Saviour and Christ's righteousness as the only justi- 
fying righteousness. 

In discharging this instrumental office faith is en- 
tirely alone. It is followed, and in accordance with 
the provisions of the covenant of grace it is inevit- 
ably followed, by the other graces of the Spirit, and 
by good, that is, holy works; but they do not co-operate 
with it in the act by which Christ and his righteous- 
ness are received in order to justification. They are 
not concurring causes, but the certain results of jus- 
tification. In a word, faith, while not the sole cause 
for the act of the Spirit uniting the sinner to Christ 
in regeneration is also a cause, is the sole instrumen- 
tal zd^ws^^ on man's part of justification. Other graces, 
the existence of which is conditioned by faith may 
be superior to it in point of intrinsic excellence, love 
for example; faith has none. All the excellence it 
possesses is derived from its relation to Christ. Itself 
it confesses to be nothing, Christ to be everything. 
It is an exhausted receiver prepared by its very empti- 
ness to be filled with the merit of Christ's righteous- 
ness. Hence, it is precisely suited to be the instru- 
ment, and the sole instrument, of justification. As 
all human works whatsoever are excluded from it, jus- 
tification is seen to be altogether of grace. 

The statement of the doctrine in the \v'estminster 
Shorter Catechism is the same with the foregoing, 
except that the order of division is somewhat differ- 
ent, the constituent elements being placed before the 
ground. It is as follows : 

420 Calvmis77i and Evangelical Arminianism, 

"Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein 
he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as right- 
eous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ 
imputed to us, and received by faith alone." 

The statements in the other parts of the Westmin- 
ster Standards are fuller. That of the Confession of 
Faith is : 

"Those whom God effectually calleth, he also 
freely justifieth ; not by infusing righteousness into 
them, but by pardoning their sins, and by account- 
ing and accepting their persons as righteous : not for 
anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for 
Christ's sake alone : not by imputing faith itself, the 
act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience 
to them, as their righteousness ; but by imputing the 
obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they 
receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness 
by faith ; which faith they have not of themselves, it 
is the gift of God." 

The Larger Catechism thus states the doctrine : 
"Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sin- 
ners, in which he pardoneth all their sin, accepteth 
and accounteth their persons righteous in His sight; 
not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, 
but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction 
of Christ, by God imputed to them, and received by 
faith alone."' 

In his Lecture on Justification, in his Systematic 
Theology, Dr. Charles Hodge makes a just and ad- 
mirable statement of the doctrine.' " It is frequently 
said," he remarks, "that justification consists in the 

^ Vol. iii., p. i6i. Substantially the same is given by Owen, On 
Justification^ Works, vol. v., pp. 173, 208. 

Calvinistic Doctrine of Justification. 421 

pardon of sin and the imputation of righteousness. 
This mode of statement is commonly adopted by Lu- 
theran theologians. This exhibition of the doctrine 
is founded upon the sharp distinction made in the 
' Form of Concord ' between the passive and active 
obedience of Christ. To the former is referred the 
remission of the penalty due to us for sin; to the 
latter our title to eternal life. The Scriptures, how- 
ever, do not make this distinction so prominent. 
Our justification as a whole is sometimes referred to 
the blood of Christ, and sometimes to his obedience. 
This is intelligible, because the crowning act of his 
obedience, and that without which all else had been 
unavailing, was his laying down his life for us. Itv 
is, perhaps, more correct to say that the righteousness 1 
of Christ, including all he did and suffered in our / 
stead, is imputed to the believer as the ground of his L 
justification, and that the consequences of this impu-! 
tation are, first, the remission of sin, and, secondly, | 
the acceptance of the believer as righteous. And if ■ 
ricrhteous, then he is entitled to be so regarded and 

The possibilities in regard to justification are thus 
clearly presented by Dr. Thornwell in his^ very able 
discussion of the validity of Romanist Baptism, when 
considering the form of the sacrament or its relation 
to the truths of the gospel: "To justify is to pro- 
nounce righteous. A holy God cannot, of course, 
declare that any one is righteous unless he is so. 
There are no fictions of law in the tribunal of Heaven 
—all its judgments are according to truth. A man 
may be righteous because he has done righteousness, 
and then he is justified by law; or he may be right- 

422 Calvinism and Evangelical Armiiiianism. 

eons because he has received rig-hteousness as a gift, 
and then he is justified by grace. Pie may be right- 
eons in himself, and this is the righteousness of works; 
or he may be righteous in another, and this is the 
righteousness of faith. Hence, to deny imputed right- 
eousness is either to deny the possibility of justifica- 
tion at all, or to make it consist in the deeds of the 
law — both hypotheses involving a rejection of the 
grace of the gospel. There are plainly but three pos- 
sible suppositions in the case: either, there is no 
righteousness in which a sinner is accepted, and justi- 
fication is simply pardon; or, it must be the right- 
eousness of God, without the law; or, the righteous- 
ness of personal obedience; — it must either be none, 
inherent, or imputed." He powerfully refutes the 
suppositions of no righteousness and inherent right- 
eousness, and establishes that of imputed. 

Having given the Calvinistic statement of the doc- 
trine, I proceed to compare with it the Evangelical 
Arminian, under three corresponding heads. 




The Groiuid or Meritorious Cause of justifica- 
tion the Evangelical Arminian theologians assert to 
be Christ's ''obedience unto death." This is a gen- 
eral statement, and, so far as it is general, it is in 
accord with the Calvinistic doctrine on the subject. 
He who would take any other ground would descend 
to the low level of the Pelagian and the Socinian. 
All who pretend to orthodoxy must hold that the 
atoning merit of God's incarnate Son is the ground of 
the sinner's acceptance before the divine tribunal. 
But when the general statement is analyzed into par- 
ticulars, there are several points at which the differ- 
ences between the Arminian and the Calvinistic sys- 
tems come distinctly into view. Is the meritorious 
obedience of Christ the Righteousness of God which 
is revealed from faith to faith? Upon whom does 
that obedience terminate for justification? What is 
the result secured by it so far as probation is con- 
cerned? — these questions are answered very differently 
in the two systems. 

I. The Calvinist affirms, and the Arminian denies, 
that "the righteousness of God revealed from faith to 
faith" is the vicarious obedience of Christ to the re- 


424 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

quirements of the law. This phrase, "the righteous- 
ness of God/' is of the most critical importance in the 
apostle's discussion of justification. It is the hinge 
upon which it turns. Why was not Paul ashamed of 
the gospel of Christ? Because it is the power of God 
unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew 
first, and also to the Greek. Why is the gospel the 
power of God unto salvation? Because therein is the 
righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. It is 
precisely the fact that the gospel reveals the righteous- 
ness of God to faith which constitutes it God's power 
to pardon the sinner and receive him into his favor. 
It is therefore of the utmost consequence to determine 
the question, What is this righteousness of God? As 
the Arminian denies that it is the vicarious obedience 
of Christ to the law, it behooves him to answer that 
question in some other way. Several answers have 
been returned: first, that it is the intrinsic rectitude 
of the divine character declared by the gospel; sec- 
ondly, that it is the rectoral justice of the divine 
administration; thirdly, that it is God's method of 
justification; fourthly, that it is justifying faith; and 
sometimes these are mixed together in a marvellous 
and indescribable compound. 

First^ Is it the intrinsic or essential righteousness 
of God, declared by the gospel? In speaking formally 
of this righteousness Dr. Pope says: "It may be 
viewed objectively; and in this vSense is used to de- 
scribe God's method of restoring man to a state of 
conformity with his law: the righteousness of God, as 
the originating and regulative and essential principle 
of that method; exhibited in the work of Christ, the 
meritorious ground of the sinner's acceptance, or in 

The Ground of Justification. 425 

Christ our Righteousness, and, as such, proclaimed 
in the gospel, to which it gives a name. Viewed 
subjectively, it is the righteousness of the believer 
under two aspects: first, it is Justification by faith, or 
the declaratory imputation of righteousness without 
works; and then it is Justification by faith as working 
through love and fulfilling the law; these however 
constituting one and the same Righteousness of Faith 
as the free gift of grace in Christ." Speaking fur- 
ther of the "Righteousness of God" he says: "The 
gospel is a revelation of God's righteous method of 
constituting sinners righteous through the atonement 
of Christ by faith: hence it is termed the Righteous- 
ness of God. Viewed in relation to the propitiatory 
sacrifice, it is a manifestation of God's essential right- 
eousness in the remission of sins; view^ed in relation 
to the Evangelical institute, it is the divine method 
of justifying the ungodly." This is somewhat con- 
fused and obscure, but two things are evidently set 
forth: in the first place, the "righteousness of God" 
is his essential righteousness manifested by the gos- 
pel; and in the second place, the "righteousness of 
God" is his method of justifying sinners. What Dr. 
Pope has joined together logic will take leave to put 
asunder, as the union was ab initio null and void. 
The former of these positions will be considered first, 
and separately from the latter, the consideration of 
which is reserved to another place. 

It needs not many words to show^ that the essential 
righteousness, or, what is the same, the justice, of 
God cannot be the righteousness of God which is re- 
vealed to the faith of the guilty and despairing sinner 
as the ground of his hope of acceptance. It is an at- 

426 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

tribute of the divine nature, and exactly that attri- 
bute which is the most dreadful to the sinner's con- 
templation. It demands his punishment, visits its 
withering curse upon his head, and raises the flames 
of consuming wrath in the way of his approach to 
God. Nor does it at all relieve the difficulty to say 
that the sinner beholds the demands of this awful at- 
tribute satisfied by the suffering obedience of the Son 
of God, and from that circumstance derives the hope 
of pardon and acceptance. This aggravates the diffi- 
culty a thousand-fold. That the essential righteous- 
ness of God could be appeased only by the blood and 
anguish of the Cross presents it in a more fearful 
light than when it was revealed amidst the darkness, 
smoke and flame, the thunders and lightnings, the 
trumpet blast and the voice of words of Sinai's quak- 
ing mount. ''If they do these things in the green 
tree, what shall be done in the dry?" If justice thus 
dealt with God's beloved Son, wdiat will it do with the 
conscious transgressor of his law? It cannot be the 
intrinsic righteousness of God requiring such a sacri- 
fice as that exhibited on the Cross which is revealed to 
faith. It is revealed to despair. But that the right- 
eousness produced by an incarnate God satisfying the 
demands of God's essential righteousness which can- 
not be remitted, relaxed or compromised, and satisfy- 
ing them in the room of the sinner — that this right- 
eousness is revealed in the gospel to the faith of the 
guilty as a complete ground of acceptance with God, is 
comprehensible. This it is which constitutes the 
gospel God's power to pardon, this which makes it 
tidings of great joy to those who sit in hopeless despair 
at the smoking gate of hell. To reveal the justice of 

The Ground of Jtistification. 4^7 

God as a ground of hope to be apprehended by faith 
is a form of expression unknown to the Scriptures. 
It is what Christ has done and suffered in obeying the 
law which is held up to faith as the ground of accept- 
ance with God. And as the righteousness of God is 
said to be revealed to faith, that righteousness must 
be the same with the righteousness of Christ. It 
certainly is not the distinguishing peculiarity of the 
gospel tiiat it reveals the justice of God, or the grand 
office of faith that it receives that justice. The right- 
eousness of God, therefore, which is revealed to faith, 
constituting the gospel the power of God unto salva- 
tion to every one that believeth, cannot be the justice 
of God. It is preposterous. Justice is rather God's 
power unto damnation. It would be an inversion of 
the o-race of the gospel, did the just live by faith in 
the "justice of God. It is true that the Publican 
pleaded with God for favor through atonement 
0/daM, "but it is certain that he did not plead for jus- 
tice ; he asked for mercy. Nor is the essential right- 
eousness of God transmuted by atonement into 
uiercv. It abides righteousness still. It was mercy 
that provided the atonement, and it is mercy that ex- 
tends pardon to the sinner, in consistency with the 
clainv of unchanging righteousness fulfilled by the 
obedience of the Saviour. Faith in that obedience, 
as the righteousness provided, produced, and accepted 
by God, is the required condition through which the 
sinner's guilt is remitted, and his person admitted to 


Secondly, It is sometimes contended that the 
''righteousness of God" which is revealed to faith is 
Ihe^'rectoral righteousness of the divine administra- 

428 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

tion.* The rectoral righteousness of God, as the term 
implies, is his justice in the administration of his 
moral government. What is this but the attribute of 
justice in energy ad extra? It enforces the divine law 
which is a transcript, or formal expression, of his 
moral perfections. The same course of argument, 
consequently, which was employed in relation to the 
intrinsic or essential righteousness of God will equally 
apply to his rectoral righteousness. But in the case 
of the latter it becomes evident that righteousness or 
justice is the actual rendering to every one what is 
his due. Were there no creature in existence, God 
would render to himself what is due in accordance 
with his intrinsic justice; and the same attribute 
would secure to each Person of the Godhead what 
properly belongs to him. There would be an infinite 
reciprocity in the communication and the reception 
of what is just to each. Towards the creatures who 
are subjects of the moral government of God, the at- 
tribute of justice, no longer confined to the relations 
of the Godhead, is so exercised as to render to each 
his due. This administration of justice, from the 
nature of the case, must be perfect, for it is divine. 
Each subject must receive exactly what is his due. 
The righteous cannot be treated as sinful, nor the 
sinner as righteous. Either the sinner must be pun- 
ished in his own person, or, upon the supposition that 
substitution is admitted, in the person of a substitute. 
The rectoral righteousness, or distributive justice, of 

^Watson says: " By the righteousness of God it is also plain, 
that his rectoral justice in the admiuistration of pardon is meant, 
which, of course, is not thought capable of imputation." Inst.y 
vol. ii., p. 227, ff. 

The Ground of Justification. 429 

God must be completely satisfied, else the divine gov- 
ernment is imperfectly administered. 

Upon the Arminian scheme a serious difficulty here 
occurs. It is upon that scheme conceded that the 
principle of substitution has been introduced into the 
moral government of God, and that the atonement 
was in its nature vicarious. But, in the first place, it 
is denied that Christ as the substitute assumed human 
guilt, and that it was imputed to him by God, as 
Judge. Dr. Raymond says: "The notion — held, to 
be sure, by but a very few — that the sins of mankind, 
or any portion of them, were imputed to Christ — that 
is, that he took upon him our iniquities in such a 
sense as that he was considered guilty, or that they 
were accounted to him, or that he suffered the pun- 
ishment due on account of those sins — in a word, the 
idea that the Son of God died as a culprit, taking 
the place of culprits and having their transgressions 
imputed to him, accounted as his — we have charac- 
terized as well-nigh bordering upon blasphemy; it is, 
to say the least, a horrible thing to think of. The 
term impute cannot, in any good sense, be applied in 
this case. If, however, it be insisted upon that the 
sins of mankind, or of the elect, were imputed to 
Christ, the only sense admissible — and even in that 
sense the formula is eminently awkward — is, that 
consequences of man's sins were placed upon him; he 
suffered because of sin, not at all that he was pun- 
ished for sin, or suffered the penalty of sin." ^ Now, 
it is demanded, if this were true, how, in accordance 
with the rectoral righteousness of God, Christ could 
have suffered and died. Of course he had no con- 
^Syst. TheoL, vol. ii. p. 337. 

430 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

scions guilt. Upon the supposition before us he had 
no imputed guilt. As these are the only possible 
ways in which one can be guilty, Christ had no guilt 
at all — he was perfectly and in every sense innocent. 
Did rectoral justice render to him his due, when as 
innocent he suffered and died ? It may be said that 
he freely consented to suffer and die. But divine jus- 
tice could not have consented; and as the Son of God 
was infinitely just, he could not have consented. To 
say that men sometimes elect to suffer and die for 
others does not in the least relieve the gigantic diffi- 
culty; for no man has the right to suffer and die for 
others unless it be his duty to do so. But the Son of 
God was, in the first instance, under no obligation to 
offer himself as a sacrifice for sinners. Further, to 
say that Christ consented to suffer and die is to sup- 
pose a covenant between God the Father and God the 
Son. This, however, is denied by Arminians, who 
admit only a covenant between God and men. The 
difficulty is insuperable upon the Arminian scheme. 
The rectoral righteousness of God was overslaughed 
or thrown out of account in relation to the stupen- 
dous fact of Christ's sufferings and death. And yet 
it is contended that the rectoral rio'hteousness of God 
is revealed, declared, manifested by the gospel through 
the atonement of Christ ! The abettor of the Moral 
Influence theory, which discards the distributive jus- 
tice of God, may be consistent in maintaining that 
the sufferings and death of Christ were a sacrifice 
made by love with which justice had nothing to 
do; but as the Arminian admits retributive justice 
and yet denies that Christ was putatively guilty, he 
is involved in flat self-contradiction. Either rectoral 

The Groiuid of Justification. 431 

justice had nothing to do with the sufferings and 
death of Christ, or it had to do with them. If the 
former, the Arminian doctrine under consideration — 
namely, that the "righteousness of God" which is 
revealed to faith is his rectoral righteousness mani- 
fested by the gospel, is fatuously absurd. If the lat- 
ter, the rectoral righteousness of God did not render 
Christ his due as a perfectly innocent being. On 
either horn the Arminian doctrine is impaled. In the 
second place, if the imputation of the sinner's guilt 
to Christ as his Substitute is denied, it follows that 
his guilt remains upon himself. It is in no way re- 
moved. But, it is contended that he is pardoned, if 
he believes in Christ. How, then, in accordance with 
rectoral righteousness, does he receive his due? Rec- 
toral righteousness absolutely requires the punishment 
of guilt. There is no principle clearer in the moral 
government of God than the inseparable connection 
of guilt and punishment. To say that he is pardoned 
is to say that his guilt has not been punished. For, 
if pardoned, he is not consciously punished; and if 
Christ, as his Substitute, was not punished, his guilt 
has in no sense been punished. The inseparable con- 
nection betw^een guilt and punishment no longer ex- 
ists; rectoral justice has been defrauded of its rights. 
The sinner has not had his due rendered to him. If 
Christ was not the Substitute of the sinner, and if his 
death was not a penalty substituted for the death- 
penalty due the sinner, but simply, as we have seen it 
stated, a substitute for the penalty, then the penalty 
demanded by rectoral justice has been dispensed with. 
For it is as clear as day that the penalty has not been 
endured at all: not by the sinner — he is pardoned; not 

432 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

by Christ — he endured no penalty. The rectoral 
righteousness of God may have its precept, but in this 
case is shorn of its penalty: a mutilated righteous- 
ness, surely! Yet the rectoral righteousness of God 
is that which is revealed to faith in the gospel, seeing 
the sinner is pardoned because it has been fulfilled in 
the suffering and death of Christ! 

Thirdly^ It is maintained that the "righteousness 
of God" which is revealed from faith to faith, which 
without the law is manifested, is God's method of 
justification. Says Watson: "The phrase, the right- 
eousness of God, in this [Rom. iii. 21, 22] and several 
other passages in St. Paul's writings, obviously means 
God's righteous method of justifying sinners through 
the atonement of Christ, and, instrumentally, by 
faith." ^ This is hardly a true construction of the 
apostle's words. 

In the first place, there would be no progress in 
the statement: it would return upon itself. For it 
w^ould amount to this: God's method of justification 
ii through faith in his method of justification. The 
question still presses. What is God's method of justifi- 
cation? If one should ask by what means he might 
reach a certain place, it would be a poor answer to 
tell him. Take the road that leads to that place. The 
sinner asks, What is God's method of justification? 
or, what is the same thing. How shall I be justified? 
It would be an equally poor answer to tell him. Ac- 
cept by faith God's method of justification. But if 
the answer should be, God has revealed the righteous- 
ness of Christ to faith; accept that righteousness by 
faith, and thou shalt be justified, it would be satis- 
^Inst., vol. ii. p. 228. 

The Ground of Justijicatiojt. 433 

factory, and it is the only satisfactory answer that 
can be given to the inqniry. To reply to it by say- 
ing, The righteousness of God is his method of justi- 
fying the sinner; accept that method by faith, and 
thou shalt be justified, would be tautological and to 
no purpose. Nothing would be explained. 

In the second place, righteousness without works is 
said to be imputed: ^'Even as David also describeth 
the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputetli 
righteousness without works." ^ But it is out of tjie 
question to speak of a method of justification being 
imputed. To this the Armlnian will reply by saying 
that it is faith which is described as the righteous- 
ness without works, and it is declared that faith is 
imputed. Now we have just heard Watson saying 
that God's righteousness is his method of justifying 
the sinner. It seems then that there are two justify- 
ing righteousnesses: God's method of justification, 
and faith. This is utterly inadmissible. Either it is 
God's method of justification which is the righteous- 
ness without works that is imputed, and that is 
absurd; or it is faith which is that righteousness, and 
that will be disproved as the argument is developed, 
jNIean while, it cannot be allowed to the Armiuian to 
play fast and loose with the all-important terms yV/j//- 
fying righteousness. He cannot in one breath, as 
Watson does, signify by those terms God's rectoral 
justice, God's method of justification, and the sinner's 
faith. This is *' confusion worse confounded." The 
righteousness which justifies cannot possibly be all 
three, or any two, of them. If it be one of them, let 
the Armiuian adhere to that one alone, and he will at 

^ Rom. iv. 6. 

434 Calviiiisiu and Evangelical Ar'minianism. 

least be consistent with himself, however inconsistent 
with Scripture. 

In the third place, the righteousness which is of 
God by faith is contrasted with the righteousness 
which is one^s own. But there would be no meaning 
in the comparison of one's personal righteousness 
with God's method of justification. Let us hear Paul: 
^' Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for 
the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my 
Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, 
and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 
and be found in him, not having mine own righteous- 
ness which is of the law, but that which is through the 
faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by 
faith.'' ^ By his own righteousness he certainly could 
not have intended his own method of justification, but 
his conscious, subjective obedience to the law; and 
that he should have contrasted that with the obedi- 
ence of Christ is intelligible. The former could con- 
stitute no ground, the latter is a perfect ground, of 
justification. The same comparison is instituted by 
Paul in describing the zeal of his countr>anen which 
was not according to knowledge. ^'For they being 
ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to 
establish their owm righteousness, have not submitted 
themselves unto the righteousness of God."^ By 
their own righteousness is meant their legal obedi- 
ence, ' ^ for Moses describeth the righteousness which 
is of the law. That the man which doeth those things 
shall live by them."^ Their legal obedience is con- 
trasted, not with the divine method of justification, 
but with the obedience of Christ by w^hich he is the 
* Phil. iii. 8, 9. ^j^om. x. 3. ^/<^., 5- 

The Ground of Justifualion. 435 

end of tlie law for righteousness to every one tliat 

believeth. rM ■ ^ • 

In the fourth place, our sin imputed to Christ is 
contrasted with his righteousness imputed to us. 
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew 
,10 sin; that we might be made the righteousness ot 
God in him.'" Will it be said that Christ was made 
God's method of condemnation for us, that we might 
be made God's method of justification in him? That 
^vould be the natural antithesis, if the righteousness 
of God mean God's method of justification. It most 
certainly cannot here mean faith, for it would be as- 
serted that we are made faith in him ! Both these 
constructions are so outrageous that they are rejected 
bv Arminians themselves. Refusing to see the doc- 
trines of imputed guilt and imputed righteousness 
which are so plain on the face of the passage that a 
blind man might perceive them, they say that Christ 
was made a sin-offering for us. Well then, we were 
made a righteousness-offering to God m him. That 
would be the antithesis required. No; we are justi- 
fied in him. Between a sin-offering for us and being 
iustified in him, what conceivable comparison is 
there' But let us not be hasty. Let us see whether 
some one of the various Arminian interpretations of 
the phrase "righteousness of God" will not meet the 
demands of the case? Are we made the essential 
ricrhteousness of God in Christ? Are we made the 
rectoral righteousness of God in him ? Are we made 
God's method of justification in him? Are we made 
faith in him? Are we made all these in him? No, 
answers the Arminian, we are j ustified in him. It 

^2 Cor. V. 21. 

436 Calvinism and Evaiigelical Arminianisni. 

follows that the righteousness of God here spoken of 
is neither God's essential righteousness, nor his rec- 
toral righteousness, nor his method of justification, 
nor faith, nor all these together. What, then, can it 
be? The answer is, Justified and sanctified. So it 
would appear that justified and sanctified' is another 
of the senses in which the phrase righteousness of 
God is employed. 

A parallel passage is that in which Christ is de- 
clared to be made of God to us — righteousness : "But 
of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made 
unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctifica- 
tion, and redemption."^ It will scarcely be contended 
that Christ is of God made unto us God's method of 
justification. If it be asked, Who ever asserted such 
an absurdity? it may be inquired in reph% How then 
is Christ made righteousness to us? Is he made to 
us God's essential riorhteousness, or his rectoral rio^ht- 
eousness, or faith? Are these suppositions too ab- 
surd to ascribe to the Arminian? If so, the question 
recurs. How is Christ made righteousness to us? 
The answer cannot be. Because he is our sanctifica- 
tion, for the plain reason that in this passage right- 
eousness is discriminated from sanctification. It will 
hardly do to say that he is made to us wisdom, and 
sanctification, and sanctification and redemption. A 
first and a second blessing of sanctification are surely 
not taught here. In what sense then is Christ made 
righteousness to us? There is but one other answer. 
It is that of the Calvinist : Christ's righteousness is 
ours by imputation. 

Another passage which cannot be h armonized with 

^ See Clarke and Benson in loc. ^ i Cor. i. 30. 

The Ground of Justification. 437 

the view under consideration is the powerful one in 
Jeremiah:' "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, 
that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and 
a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute 
judgment and justice in the earth. In his days 
Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely ; 
and this is his name whereby he shall be called, 
can be no doubt that this statement refers to Christ. 
How he could be called Jehovah, God's method of 
justification made ours, it is impossible to see. Even 
John Wesley, in his celebrated sermon on these 
words, acknowledged that the doctrine of Christ's 
imputed righteousness is, in a certain sense, taught 
in them, and he defined that righteousness to be what 
Christ did and suffered — what is usually termed his 
active and passive obedience. But from Richard 
Watson to the present day, the Evangelical Arminian 
theology has gone beyond its leader and discarded the 
phrase ijnputed righteousness of Christ. Be the inter- 
pretation of these glorious words what it may, it most 
assuredly cannot be : The Lord, our divine method 
of justification! No more can it be our divine essen- 
tial righteousness, or our divine rectoral righteous- 
ness, or our faith. 

Still another statement may be emphasized. It is 
that in which Gabriel tells Daniel, "Seventy weeks 
are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy 
city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end 
of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and 
to bring in everlasting righteousness."' Illustrious 
testimonv to the obedience of Christ! Who can resist 

^ Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. '^ i Dan, ix. 24. 

43S Cal-jinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

the conviction that the righteousness here signalized 
is the "righteousness of God" which Paul magnified 
as the fundamental feature of a sinner's justification, 
the revelation of which constituted the gospel the 
power of God unto salvation, redeemed it from con- 
tempt and rendered it an object of glorying in the 
splendid capital of the Roman empire? And if this 
be so, the everlasting righteousness, the bringing in 
of which was foretold by an angelic prophet, cannot 
be regarded as God's method of justification, unless it 
be held that Jesus first brought in a method of justi- 
fication which had been employed since the promise 
of redemption was delivered to Adam and Bve, and 
unless it be maintained that God will be everlastingly 
employed in justifying sinners after the sentences of 
the Final Judgment shall have forever sealed the 
doom of men. An everlasting method of justification 
is something hard to be understood, except it be by 
those who regard anything more tolerable than im- 
puted righteousness; but that an obedience of a 
divine-human Substitute, brought in when he suffered 
and died for his people on earth, should, according to 
the purpose of God, have grounded their justification 
from the beginning of sin, and will everlastingly con- 
tinue to ground their justified standing in heaven, — 
this is not only intelligible, but is the most glorious 
doctrine of the glorious gospel of the blessed God. 
The wonder is that any Protestant, that any believ- 
ing sinner conscious of the sin that mingles even 
with his faith, should ever question it. This, and 
this alone, is the righteousness which finishes trans- 
gression, makes an end of sins, and effects a recon- 
ciliation for iniquity, that perpetuates the light of 

The Ground of Jtistificaiion. 439 

God's face and forever removes the shadow of con- 
tinoencv from the bliss of heaven. So mnch for he 
position' that the righteousness of God wuhout the 
law, which is revealed from faith to is God s 
method ofjustifying the sinner. 

Fourthly, It is, with a remarkable versatdity of n- 
terpretation, held that the righteousness of God is the 
riohteousness of faith. Mr. Fletcher says of our 
o;n ri<,4iteousness of faith": "We assert that it ,s 
the righteousness of God.'" Dr. Ralston in pro- 
fessedlv discussing the question, What is the nght- 
eonsness of God? quotes with approval from a learned 
commentator a passage in which this view is ex- 
messed "In reference," he observes, to this 
Urase, which occnrs in Rom. i. 17, Whitby remarks: 
•This phrase, in St. Paul's style, doth always signify 
the ri-hteousness of faith in Christ Jesns's dying or 
sheddhighis blood for lis.'" And then Ralston 
coes on to shift his terms, and curiously ital.cses^^the 
scriptural words which annihilate this view. To 
this " he continues, "we might add the testimony of 
Paul himself, who, in Rom. iii. 22, gives precisely 
the same comment upon the phrase in question. 
'Even,' savs he, 'the righteousness of God, which is 
hy faith off cms Christ. " " That is, the righteous- 
ness of God is the righteousness of faith, and the 
ricrhteonsness of faith is the righteousness which is 
bv faith This is not Paul's confusion; it is Ur. 
Ralston's He seemed unconscious that a righteous- 
ness which inheres in faith and a righteousness which 
comes by faith are not, ^n^^be^jh^^amejhmg. 

^^Vorks, New York, 1849. vol. i. p. 3^3- 
'^Elcm. Diviu., p. 402. 

440 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianisnt. 

That the righteousness of God is the righteousness 
that justifies not even the Arminians deny. That 
faith is the righteousness that justifies, they vehe- 
mently contend; for, was not ^Abraham's faith im- 
puted to him for righteousness? Was he not right- 
eous because he believed? His faith was the right- 
eousness imputed to him. If this is not their 
doctrine, language can convey no meaning. When 
the relation of faith to justification comes in its place 
in the general scheme of the argument to be ex- 
amined, this doctrine will be more particularly con- 
sidered. At present, it is relevant to prove that the 
righteousness of faith, or faith as righteousness, can- 
not be the righteousness of God. The appeal will 
be taken directly to the Scriptures, and if they do 
not show this, the plainest declarations are incapable 
of being understood. 

Rom. i. 17: "For therein is the righteousness of 
God revealed from faith to faith." If faith be the 
righteousness of God, the statement would be exactly 
equivalent to this : the righteousness of God is re- 
vealed from the righteousness of God to the right- 
eousness of God ; or, faith is revealed from faith to 
faith. This cannot be the apostle's statement. If it 
be repudiated by the Arminian, it may be asked, For 
what reason ? Is it urged that the righteousness of 
God is different from the righteousness of faith ? The 
difficulty is only changed, not removed, for the state- 
ment would be: the righteousness of God is revealed 
from the righteousness of faith to the righteousness 
of faith. What meaning can be attached to such an 
utterance? If the righteousness of God and the 
righteousness of faith are different expressions for the 

The Ground of Justification. 441 

same thing the first difficulty remains: God's right- 
eousness is certainly not revealed to itself; neither is 
faith revealed to itself. So far as this cardinal state- 
ment of the mode of justification is concerned, it is per- 
fectly clear that faith is not the righteousness of God. 

Rom. iii. 21, 22: ''But now the righteousness of 
God without the law is manifested, being witnessed 
by the law and the prophets ; even the righteousness 
of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and 
upon all them that believe." If faith be the right- 
eousness of God, the statement here would be tanta- 
mount to this: the righteousness of God which is by 
the righteousness of God; or faith which is by faith. 
This cannot be escaped except by a denial of the posi- 
tion that faith is the righteousness of God — the very 
affirmation resisted in these remarks. Moreover, what 
sense can be extracted from the sentence: faith is unto 
all and upon all them that believe? Yet, if faith be 
the righteousness of God, that sentence is virtually 
put into the apostle's mouth. 

Phil. iii. 9: "And be found in him, not having 
mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that 
which is through the faith of Christ, the righteous- 
ness which is of God by faith." The apostle contrasts 
his own riehteousness which is of the law^ with an- 
other righteousness which is tlirough faith. That 
other rio-hteousness he describes as that which is of 
God, and as imparted through faith or attained by 
faith. Now, if faith be the righteousness of God, he 
is represented as desiring to have that faith which is 
through the faith of Christ, the faith which is of God 
by faith. This construction of the solemn language 
of Paul is so palpably inadmissible, that we are 

442 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

obliged to reject the view that the righteousness of 
God is faith, or, what is the same, that the righteous- 
ness of God is the righteousness of faith — the right- 
eousness which faith is reckoned to be. 

The question whether faith, in relation to justifica- 
tion, 'be any righteousness at all, legal or evangelical, 
imputed or inherent, will be considered in another 
place; but the passages of Scripture which have been 
adduced incontestably prove that the righteousness 
of God which is revealed from faith to faith, which is 
through faith, which is by faith, and which is unto 
all and upon all that believe, cannot be faith itself or 
any righteousness involved in it. 

It has now been shown that the righteousness of 
God which is revealed to faith by the gospel is not 
God^s intrinsic or essential righteousness, nor his rec- 
toral righteousness by which he administers his moral 
government, nor his method of justification, nor faith. 
What, then, is it but the vicarious righteousness of 
Christ — his obedience to the precept and the penalty 
of the law in the sinner's stead, wrought out in his 
life and in his death? The Arminian holds that the 
ground of justification is the merit of Christ, but fails 
to make the righteousness of Christ that righteous- 
ness of God which faith apprehends as the ground of 
acceptance. He is right in general, and wrong in 

2. To whom is the merit of Christ, according to 
the Arminian, made available as a ground of justifi- 
cation? Who stand upon that ground? This ques- 
tion is relevant because its answer throws some light 
upon the whole Arminian conception of justification. 
It behooves to be considered somewhere, and it may 

The Ground of Justificatioii. 443 

be well to take it up here. Anninian divines and 
commentators generally concur in holding that the 
guilt of Adam's sin is removed at birth from all men. 
Tliey differ, it is true, in regard to the use of the 
term guilt in connection with the first sin ; some con- 
tending that all men are in some sense guilty in re- 
spect to that sin, and therefore suffer the penal conse- 
quences of it. As punishment necessarily supposes 
guilt, men universally contracted guilt in Adam. 
Others hold that men suffer the consequences of 
Adam's sin, but that those consequences are not penal. 
Raymond scoffs at the notion that men are guilty in 
respect to Adam's sin in any proper sense. But al- 
though the tendency of the Evangelical Arminian 
theology seems to be now in the latter direction, it 
can scarcely be regarded as fairly representing the 
standard views of that theology as a whole. Be that 
as it may, all concur in admitting, what only Pelagians 
and Infidels deny, that men are in some way impli- 
cated in the Fall of Adam. This connection with 
the first sin is destroyed, in the case of all men, by 
the effect of Christ's atonement. They are absolved 
by the blood of Christ from the guilt (taken strictly 
or loosely) of Adam's sin. They are, so far as their 
connection with that sin is concerned, pardoned; 
and as, according to the Arminian doctrine, justifica- 
tion is exactly pardon, they are justified from that 
guilt. Indeed, this is, in terms, contended for in the 
expositioi>s of the apostle's comparison of Adam's 
disobedience and Christ's righteousness in the fifth 
chapter of Romans. We have, then, the justification 
of all men at birth from the guilt of original sin. 

444 Cali'inism and Evangelical Ainninianism. 

In the fiiTt place, this necessarily supposes two 
justifications, separated by an interval of time. The 
case of infants dying in infancy being left ont of ac- 
connt, those who reach matnrity, and who believe on 
Christ, were first jnstified at birth from the gnilt of 
original sin, and afterwards, npon exercising faith, 
are jnstified from the gnilt of their conscious, actual 

In the second place, until the adult believes on 
Christ, he is a partially justified man ; for he has 
been, confessedly, justified from the guilt of Adam's 
sin. How is this made consistent with the position 
that justification is conditioned upon faith? If it be 
replied that only justification from the guilt of actual 
sins is so conditioned, it is demanded upon what 
scriptural ground his justification is thus split into 
parts — the one conditioned, the other unconditioned, 
by faith? 

In the third place, should the adult die without be- 
lieving in Christ, he dies justified in part and unjus- 
tified in part, partly pardoned and partly condemned; 
pardoned for the guilt of original sin, condemned for 
that of actual. But as actual sin springs from the 
principle of original, he is condemned for a sin the 
guilt of which supposes a sin which has been par- 
doned. If not, the man must, like Adam, have from 
innocence fallen into sin, since he must have been in- 
nocent — free from guilt — in the interval between his 
birth when the guilt of Adam's sin was removed and 
his first voluntary, conscious, actual sin. This, how- 
ever, is denied, and no wonder; for were it true there 
would be as many falls from innocence into sin, like 
that of the first man, as there have been, are, and 

The GroH7td of Justification. 445 

will be human beings born of ordinary generation. 
But it must be so, if the premise be true that the 
guilt of Adam's sin is non-imputed to every soul of 
man, at his birth. He begins life innocent, for the 
guilt of the first sin is pardoned, and no infant is ca- 
pable of contracting guilt by conscious transgression. 
If it be still contended that the man does not fall from 
innocence when he commits actual sin, because the 
principle of depravity is in him and occasions actual 
sin, it is insisted upon that he must be innocent since 
he is free from all guilt. And then the answer is 
still further insufficient, for the reason that it is im- 
possible to see how freedom from all guilt and the 
principle of corruption can co-exist. If it be sup- 
posed that the man loses the justification which was 
secured for him by the atonement, it is replied that 
the Arminian is not at liberty to make that supposi- 
tion; for the precariousness of justification for which 
he contends results from the contingent exercise of 
faith. One who has been justified by faith may cease 
to be in a justified state because he fails to exercise 
faith: the condition gone, the thing conditioned goes 
with it. But here is a justification which was not 
conditioned upon faith, as no infant at birth can exer- 
cise faith. It cannot, therefore, fail, since the uncer- 
tain condition of continuance is non-existent. Given 
without faith, why should it not continue without it? 
The only relief from this difficulty would seem to 
lie in a theory akin to that of Placseus, who held that 
the imputation of Adam's guilt is mediated through 
conscious sin. So, although that guilt has been 
removed, ipso facto^ through the virtue of the atone- 
ment, it may be incurred afresh by actual sin. But 

446 Calvinisi7i and Evangelical Arminianis)n. 

Placseus did not hold that Adam's sin was in any 
sense directly entailed npon his posterity, and conse- 
quently could not have maintained that it is removed 
by virtue of the atonement from all men at birth. 
The Arminian has to account for the re-incurring of 
a cancelled obligation. If he decline that office, the 
difficulty returns of two justifications, with the con- 
sequences by which that view is embarrassed. 

The Arminian doctrine broadens the application of 
the ground of justification beyond the warrant of 
Scripture. It places in part upon it the whole race 
of man, many of whom never hear of its existence; 
while many others of them, who know of it through 
the gospel, fail to receive any benefit from it, but are 
swept away from it by the tempestuous floods of sin. 
The Calvinistic doctrine of a virtual justification 
through the representation of his people by Christ, 
and an actual, conscious justification through faith, 
is not liable to such objections. It is self-consistent, 
walking in a narrow way, indeed, but one wdiich 
surely leads to life. No one is represented as being 
only in part on the Rock of Ages, and every one who 
was ever wholly upon it remains there, unshaken by 
the vicissitudes of life and the stormy agitations of 
death and judgment. 

3. In connection with the point last noticed, of the 
extent to which the ground or meritorious cause of 
justification is applied, the question occurs, What is 
its result so far as probation is concerned? It is one 
of momentous importance. As the subject of proba- 
tion is rarely handled with anything like thorough- 
ness in systems of divinity, and as it deserves to be 
looked at in all its bearings, let us contemplate it, 

The Ground of Jiistificalion. 447 

first, in relation to the condition of man nnder the 
scheme of natnral religion, and secondly, in respect 
to his state as afFected by redemption. 

Fh'si^ What was the natnre of man's probation, so 
far as his relation to Adam was concerned? To this 
qnestion Evangelical Arminian theologians give no 
consistent answer. It were idle to attempt the formn- 
lation of any doctrine npon this point from their con- 
fused and heterogeneous utterances. Some citations 
will be furnished, which will serve to put this allega- 
tion beyond doubt. Says Wesley: "In Adam ^//rt'/^</, 
all human kind, all the children of men who were 
then in Adam's loins. The natural consequence of 
this is, that every one descended from him comes 
into the world spiritually dead, dead to God, wholly 
dead in sin : entirely void of the life of God, void of 
the image of God, of all that righteons7iess and holi- 
ness wherein Adam was created." ' "Unless in x^dam 
all had died, being in the loins of their first parent, 
every descendant of Adam, every child of man, must 
have personally answered for himself toGod. " ^ "But 
it is the covenant oi grace ^ which God through Christ 
hath established with men in all ages (as well before 
and under the Jewish dispensation, as since God was 
manifest in the flesh), which St. Paul here opposes to 
the covenant of works made with Adam, while in 
paradise."^ "One thing more was indispensably re- 
quired by the righteousness of the law, namely, that 
this universal obedience, this perfect holiness both of 
heart and life, should be perfectly uninterrupted also, 

^ Senn. on the New Birth. 

^Sei-m. on God's Love to Fallen Man. 

^Serni. on the Righteousness of Faith. 

448 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

should continue without any intermission, from the 
moment when God created man, and breathed into 
his nostrils the breath of life, until the days of his 
trial should be ended, and he should be confirmed in 
life everlasting."' "The covenant of works required 
of Adam and all his children, to ' pay the price them- 
selves' in consideration of which, they were to receive 
all the future blessings of God."' The fact may be 
noticed, although it is not pertinent to the present 
purpose that it should be dwelt upon, that Wesley did 
not hold the doctrine of strict federal representation. 
All men were in Adam's loins. He seminally con- 
tained them, and because of this fact represented 
them. The legal results of his sin are derived to 
them through parental propagation. How this con- 
sists with a legal probation of the race in him, it is 
impossible to see. Yet, he taught a covenant of 
works in some sense, and meant, it appears, to teach 
the probation of the race in Adam. They had a 
"trial" in him. Otherwise each would have had to 
answer for himself 

In like manner Watson intended, it would seem, to 
assert a probation of the race in the first man, for he 
contends that they suffer penally for his sin: "the 
full penalty of Adam's offence passed upon his pos- 
terity."* But how a proper probation is made out, 
let the following utterances evince. Speaking of the 
effect of the "federal connection between Adam and 
his descendants" upon the latter, he says : " By iin- 
vicdiate imputation is meant that x\dam's sin is ac- 
counted ours in the sight of God, by virtue of our 

^Serm. on the Righteous7iess of Faith. 
^ Theol. hist., vol. ii. p. 67. 

The Ground of Justification. 449 

federal relation. To support the latter notion, vari- 
ous illustrative phrases have been used: as, that Adam 
and his posterity constitute one moral person^ and 
that the whole human race was in him, its head, con- 
senting to his act, etc. This is so little agreeable to 
that distinct agency which enters into the very notion 
of an accountable being, that it cannot be maintained, 
and it destroys the sound distinction between original 
and actual sin.'' ^ "It is an easy and plausible thing 
to say, in the usual loose and general manner of stat- 
ing the sublapsarian doctrine, that the whole race 
having fallen in Adam, and become justly liable to 
eternal death, God might, without any impeachment 
of his justice, in the exercise of his sovereign grace, 
appoint some to life and salvation by Christ, and leave 
the others to their deserved punishment. But this is 
a false view of the case, built upon the false assump- 
tion that the whole race were personally and individ- 
ually, in consequence of Adam's fall, absolutely liable 
to eternal death. That very fact, which is the foun- 
dation of the whole scheme, is easy to be refuted on 
the clearest authority of Scripture; while not a pass- 
age can be adduced, we may boldly affirm, which 
sanctions any such doctrine." ' "What then becomes 
of the premises in the sublapsarian theory which we 
have been examining, that in Adam all men are abso- 
lutely condemned to eternal death? Had Christ not 
undertaken human redemption, we have no proof, no 
indication in Scripture, that for Adam's sin any but 
the actually guilty pair would have been doomed to 
this condemnation; and though now the race having 
become actually existent, is for this sin, and for the 

^ Thcol. Inst., vol. ii. p. 53. ^ Ibid., pp. 394, 395. 


450 Calvinism and Evangelical A^-minianism. 

demonstration of God's hatred of sin in general, in- 
volved, through a federal relation and by an imputa- 
tion of Adam's sin, in the effects above mentioned; 
yet a universal remedy is provided." ' All this is 
very curious. Men are condemned to death, spiritual, 
temporal and eternal, for Adam's sin; but he was not 
strictly speaking their representative, they were not 
one with him in law^ and they would not have been 
condemned to death had it not been for the provision 
of redemption in Christ!^ It were folly to denomi- 
nate this a proper probation. The whole case is un- 

The views of Fletcher seemed to have been in 
accord with those of Wesley and Watson with, as 
usual, some peculiar refinements of his own, as the 
following quotation will show: "We were not less in 
Adam's loins when God gave his Son to Adam in the 
grand original Gospel promise, than when Eve jDre- 
vailed upon him to eat of the forbidden fruit. As all 
in him were included in the covenant of perfect 
obedience before the Fall, so all in him were likewise 
interested in the covenant of grace and mercy after 
the Fall. And we have full as much reason to believe, 
that some of Adam's children never fell with him 
from a state of probation, according to the old cov- 
enant, as to suppose that some of them never rose 
with him to a state of probation, upon the terms of 
the new covenant, which stands upon better promises. 

"Thus, if we all received an unspeakable injury, by 
being seminally in Adam when he fell, according to 

* Theol. List., vol. ii. p. 400. 

* This remarkable theory is subjected to a particular examination 
in the discussion on election. 

The Ground of Justification. 451 

the first covenant, we all received also an nnspeakable 
blessing by being in his loins when God spiritnally 
raised him np, and placed him npon Gospel ground. 
Nay,*the blessing which we have in Christ is far 
superior to the curse which Adam entailed upon us: 
we stand our trial upon much more advantageous 
terms than Adam did in paradise.'" 

Strict legal representation, the only competent 
ground of probation proper, is here discarded, and 
only such probation is asserted as may be collected 
from the notion of a seminal union with Adam— that 
is, from his parental headship viewed as representa- 
tive. The hypothesis that we were also seminally 
contained in Adam as a restored, believing sinner, is 
something extraordinary. Of course, if according to 
the law of propagation all were condemned and died 
in Adam sinning, it would follow that according to 
the same law all are justified and live in Adam be- 
lieving. What then of Cain and his followers? and 
what need of union to Christ? Is he a third Adam, 
and believing Adam the second, seeing we must have 
been in somebody's loins, as redeemed, and we cer- 
tainly are not in Christ's? Christ redeemed Adam, 
in order that a justified race might be generatively 
propagated from him. 

Under the head of "The Original Probation," 
Pope, speaking of Adam's relation to his posterity, 
says: "He represented his posterity; but not as a 
mediator between God and them; and therefore the 
ordinance of probation had not the nature of a cov- 
enant. The so-called C0VP:NANT OF WORKS 
has no place in the histor y of paradise." ' ''Qngi_nal 

1 Works, New York, 1849, vol. i, p. 284. 
"^Comp. Chris. TheoL, vol. ii, p. 13. 

452 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

sin," he remarks, "is the sin of Adam's descendants 
as under a covenant of grace. What it would other- 
wise have been we can never know: there would then 
have existed no federal union of mankind."' Treat- 
ing of Mediate and Immediate Imputation he makes 
this sweeping assertion, in which Wesley's view is 
consigned to the class of unscriptural hypotheses: 
"Such speculations as these stand or fall with the 
general principle of a specific covenant wnth Adam as 
representing his posterity, a covenant of which the 
Scripture does not speak. There is but one Cov- 
enant, and of that Christ is the jMediator." -^ 

The following passages from Raymond will show 
how the Evangelical Arminian theology is running 
down at the heel. "We feel no partiality for the 
idea of federal headship or representation; but with 
proper explanation, it may be admitted; it is at best 
but a figurative illustration, and is of doubtful ser- 
vice. Adam was the head of his race, and repre- 
sented his race, just as a father is the head and repre- 
sentative of his family. Consequences of the charac- 
ter and conduct of parents naturally accrue to their 
children. . . . But can any man say that these 
disadvantages are piinishmenls? Does God consider 
the children guilty of their parent's sins? Certainly 
not."^ "Adam was not the race, nor did he represent 
the race in such a sense that they could be justly 
doomed to eternal death for his sin."* "It is not 
true that the race, as individuals, stood their proba- 
tion in Adam."^ This is followed by an attempt to 

^Comp. Chris. TheoL, vol. ii. pp. 60, 61. '^ Ibid., p. 78. 

^Syst. Theology, vol. ii, pp. 109, no. *Ibid., p. 131. 

^Ibid., p. 136. 

The Ground of Justification. 453 

prove that had Adam stood, there is no evidence to 
show that the probation of the race would have ter- 
minated happily in him. 

Whedon's views may be gathered from the following 
paragraphs : "If for the fall of Adam, or any reason 
whatever, the whole human race is born unable to do 
good, it cannot, then, be damned for not doing good."* 
"On Adam's sin, moral subversion and mortality ob- 
tained full sway over him, and so of all his descend- 
ants by the law of propagation: the law by which 
throughout the entire generative kingdoms, whether 
vegetable, animal, or human, like nature begets like 
nature, bodily, mental, and moral. ""^ "How does 
the apostle mean that all have sinned? Theologians 
have replied, All have sinned in Adam. But no 
such phrase as sinned in Adajn occurs in Scripture. 
The phrase In Adam all die does occur. This does 
not mean, however, that any man's body or person 
was physically, materially or morally present, or so 
incorporated in the body of Adam as to expire with 
him when he expired. No more was any person 
present in x\dam to eat the forbidden fruit when he 
ate. Every man dies conceptually in the first mortal 
man, just as every lion dies in the first mortal lion ; 
that is, by being subjected to death by the law of 
likeness to the primal progenitor. The first lion was 
the representative lion, in whose likeness every de- 
scended lion would roar, devour, and die ; and so in 
him the whole lion race die."^ "The clause all /lave 
sinned^ therefore, means just the saxwe as all sin — thus 
stating a fact which (allowing for volitional freedom) 
is as uniform as a law of nature . . . Not because 

Comm. ou Romans, ch. ii. ^ Ibid., ch. v. 

454 Calvijiism and Evangelical Armiiiianism. 

they literally sinned in Adam ; not because Adam's 
personal sin is imputed to them, but because such is 
their nature that in this scene of probation, hemmed 
in with temptations on all sides, sooner or later they 
will sin ; and o-f whatever act a being is the normal, 
if not absolutely universal, performer, of that he is 
normally called the doer; if of j/;/, then a sinner.'*''^ 

First, It is obvious from these views of prominent 
theologians that no consistent doctrine in regard to a 
probation of the race in Adam can be collected from 
them. They are incapable of being reduced to sys- 
tematic shape. It is useless to enlarge upon this 
point : the foregoing extracts speak for themselves. 
Wesley, Watson and Fletcher allow some sort of cove- 
nant with Adam, and a corresponding probation of 
his descendants in him. Pope explicitly denies a 
covenant. Raymond as expressly rejects a probation 
of men in Adam, and Whedon affirms that there is 
no proof from Scripture that men sinned in Adam. 

Secondly, Wesley contended that perfect obedience 
was required of Adam "until the days of his trial 
should be ended, and he should be confirmed in life 
everlasting." This is a curious statement, coming 
from him, and one difficult of comprehension. Did 
he intend to include in it Adam's descendants? If 
he did not, he denied what he admitted — their proba- 
tion in him. If he did, there are four suppositions 
possible. First, did he mean by the end of the trial 
the close of Adam's life? But had he stood, there 
would have been no close of his life. Secondly, did 
he mean the end of a certain, definite period during 
Adam's life? If he did, he affirmed the Calvinistic 

^ Coram, on Romans, ch. v. * Ibid. 

The Ground of Jiistificatioit, 455 

doctrine and asserted the theory of strict legal repre- 
sentation. But how could he do that, and at the 
same time hold to a losable justification? Or, how- 
could such a justification consist with "confirmation 
in everlasting life"? Thirdly, did he mean by the 
end of the trial, the close of each man's life? That 
would be tantamount to denying that each man, un- 
der the first covenant, had a probation in Adam, a 
thing which he admitted. Every man would have 
stood on his own foot. Besides, had Adam stood in 
integrity, how could any man have died ? If in Adam 
as sinning they died, in Adam as not sinning they 
w^ould have lived. Fourthly, did he mean by the end 
of the trial the close of the whole Earthly history of 
Adam and his posterity, supposed to continue in holi- 
ness? That would be attended with the same diffi- 
culties as the supposition of the trial's terminating at 
the expiration of a certain, definite period. More- 
over, how can it be maintained that there would have 
been an end of the earthly history of Adam and his 
descendants, had they remained holy? What proof 
is there for it? The expression sounds well in a Cal- 
vinist's ear, but what does it mean in an Arminian's 
mouth ? 

Thirdly, A probation supposed to terminate in an 
"amissible" — a losable justification would have been 
no real probation at all. For, according to the sup- 
position, the probation would have been both finished 
and not finished : finished by justification ; not fin- 
ished, since justification might have been lost. And 
further, had Adam secured justification for his pos- 
terity, they might have subsequently lost it, for if 
they may lose the justification merited by Christ, 

456 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

they surely may have forfeited that won by Adam, 
If so, what probation would have remained to the 
race, but one finished and yet unfinished, which is a 
contradiction in terms ? 

Fourthly, A seminal union of Adam and his pos- 
terity, involving such a representative feature as that 
union would carry with it, could have been no proper 
ground for a legal probation. Adam would have dif- 
fered from ordinary parents simply by the circum- 
stance of his being the first father of mankind; and 
no one talks of children having a strict, legal proba- 
tion in their parents. The former are not adjudged 
to temporal death for the crimes of the latter, much 
less to eternal death. Those writers, therefore, who 
hold merely to the seminal relation, and deny proba- 
tion, are consistent. According to the most accom- 
plished Evangelical Arminian theologians of recent 
times, the seminal union will not account for legal 
probation and its tremendous results. The fact is 
worthy of attention. Asserting the one, they deny 
the other. 

Fifthly, The defect common to all the writers who 
have been cited, is that their doctrine falls short in 
not affirming a federal headship of Adam involving 
strict legal representation, superadded by divine ap- 
pointment to a headship naturally belonging to the 
parental relation, and implying only such a federal 
and representative element as necessarily attaches to 
that relation. It is true that some admit a covenant, 
but it was not such a covenant as constituted a com- 
petent ground for the legal probation of the race. As 
the Calvinistic view of probation is denied, and as it 
stands or falls with the doctrine of the covenant of 

The Ground of Justification. 457 

works, it behooves that proof be furnished of the fact 
that such a covenant existed. 

First, The most prominent and conchisive proof is 
derived from the fifth chapter of Romans. It estab- 
h'shes an analogy between Christ and Adam. If 
Christ was a representative, so must have been Adam. 
The scriptural proofs in favor of Christ's representa- 
tive character were presented in the foregoing discus- 
sion of the Objections to Election. They will not, 
therefore, be stated here. If it be denied that Adam 
was a representative, the only point at which the 
analogy holds between him and Christ is obliterated. 
Adam, although not an instituted type, was a real 
figure, of Christ. That is, although he was not made 
a representative for the purpose of typifying Christ as 
a representative, as Aaron was constituted a priest 
in order to typify the sacerdotal function of Christ, 
yet, in consequence of the unity of plan characteriz- 
ing God's moral government of the human race, which 
from the beginning proceeded upon the principle of 
federal representation, Adam as a representative was 
an analogue of Christ. He was only a type of Christ 
by reason of the fact that he was a representative of 
his seed, as Christ is of his. In this respect there is 
a parallelism between the first and second Adam, in 
others an antithesis. The passage affords a brief, but 
pregnant, proof of the representative character of 

But, if Adam were a representative, it is clear that 
he must have acted under a covenant. In what other 
way could he have been constituted a representative 
of his posterity? His concreated relation to a naked 
dispensation of law could not account for the fact. 

45S Calvinisjii and Evangelical Armmianism. 

He would have been obliged to answer for himself 
alone, so far as the judicial results — the reward or 
punishment — of his conduct were concerned. It may 
be urged that as God made him by creation a parental 
head, there was no need of the superaddition of cove- 
nant headship to constitute him a representative. 
This point has already been elaborately argued, but 
it is briefly replied here : 

In the first place, he was not made simply a paren- 
tal head. The proof is plain. Christ was not simply 
a parental head, and as Adam was a type of Christ he 
could not have been. As Christ certainly was not 
carnally a parental head, there is no analogy in that 
regard ; and as he is spiritually a parental head by a 
supernatural and sovereign influence, it is hard to see 
how the likeness obtains in that respect. It remains 
that the analogy is grounded in a federal and repre- 
sentative headship different from parental. 

In the second place, if Adam had stood and been 
justified as a mere parental head, and not as a federal 
and representative head, his justification would not 
have secured the justification of his seed ; for the 
righteousness of a parent cannot ensure the standing 
in righteousness of his children. According to the 
supposition that Adam was not a federal head and 
legal representative appointed under a constitution 
different from the act by which he was created a 
parent, each one of his posterity would have stood 
upon his own foot in law, and consequently the stand- 
ing of each would have been contingent upon his 
own personal, conscious obedience. Arminians them- 
selves acknowledge the forensic character of justifica- 
tion. The same must be true of condemnation. The 

The Ground of Jicstification. 459 

propagative channel alone will not account for the 
derivation of either. A good child is not punished 
for his father's crimes ; nor is a bad child rewarded 
for his father's virtues. And as it is a fact that a 
child of good dispositions, humanly speaking, is 
sometimes born of a bad parent, and a child of bad 
dispositions of a good parent, it is evident that the 
seminal principle is not adequate to meet the de- 
mands of the case. The universal and undeniable 
fact of native depravity clearly proves guilt in the 
progenitor of the race, descending, in consequence of 
a representative and not a merely parental headship, 
to those who were his legal constituents, and not 
merely the fruit of his loins. 

But if it be admitted, it may be suggested, that 
Adam was a representative as well as Christ, it is not 
proved that his posterity would have been justified in 
him, on the supposition that he had stood and been 
justified. It is proved, because: 

There could have been no meaning in his being 
constituted a Representative of his seed, had not the 
possible justification of them through his acts been a 
consequence of the appointment. 

Further, his condemnation involved the condemna- 
tion of his seed. Pai'i rati07ie^ his justification would 
have involved theirs. 

Again, the obedience of the second Adam secured 
the justification of his seed. The principle is the 
same in both cases. • 

The same view is presented, though not so ex- 
pressly, in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians 
and the second chapter of Hebrews. The death of 
all in Adam and the life of all in Christ depend upon 

460 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

the operation of the same principle. Now it is cer- 
tain that men do not live becanse they were seminally 
contained in Christ. To say that they were in his 
loins were to blaspheme. Neither, then, the analogy 
holding, do men die becanse of a seminal connection 
with x\dam. x\ federal and representative nnion is 
necessitated, and that snpposes a covenant originating 
in the constitutive and appointing prerogative of God. 
It is nothing short of an impeachment of the moral 
government of God to assert that men die morally 
and spiritually, or die at all, in Adam, just as all lions 
die in the first mortal lion — that the seminal relation 
accounts for both classes of facts. The Scriptures 
explicitly declare, in regard to man, that "the w^ages 
of sin is death," that "by one man sin entered into 
the world, and death by sin." Infants die before they 
consciously sin. Their death is the wages of sin. Of 
what sin ? Not their own conscious sin, unless they 
die in anticipation of it, as if a man were hanged for 
prospective murder. Of another's sin, therefore. 
How? As young lions die because the old lion died? 
Is the death of young lions the wages of an old lion's 
sin? See, what the seminal principle of Wesley, 
Watson and Fletcher comes to in the hands of Whe- 
don ! No, death is a judicial infliction in consequence 
of the sin of a legal representative acting under a 
legal covenant, and its penal element can only be re- 
moved in consequence of the obedience of another 
and a better Representative under another and a bet- 
ter covenant. 

The second chapter of Hebrews proves the neces- 
sity of the incarnation of the Son of God, of a com- 
munity of nature between him and his brethren, the 

The GroiDid of Jitstijication. 461 

seed of Abraham. Why this necessity? That he 
might be of the same blood with his seed, inasmuch 
as the first Adam was of the same blood with his. 
The principle of representation is probably broad 
enough to admit of an application in every case in 
which the subjects of government may be logically 
collected into unity; but Christ as the representative 
of his human seed behooved to be made like unto 
them by taking their nature, because the first repre- 
sentative of men, Adam, sustained that relation to 
them. The representative must, in this instance, par- 
take of the nature of the represented because of the 
Adamic law. This settles the question that both 
Christ and Adam were representatives. The law of 
representation proceeding by the tie of race controlled 
both cases. This evinces the difference between a 
merely seminal union, and a representative union. 
Christ was not a seminal head of his people, as was 
the first Adam of his posterity. In that respect 
therefore the second Adam did not conform to the 
law of the first. It was in the fact that they were 
representatives that a common principle obtained. 
Now as Christ acted as a representative under the 
economy of a covenant, so likewise must Adam. 

Secondly, There could have been no justification 
without a covenant. Had no covenant existed limit- 
ing the time of probation, the demand of the naked 
law would forever have been. Do and live; and the 
promise. As long as you do, you shall live. Proba- 
tion would necessarily have been everlasting, unless 
closed by sin, and justification involving confirmation 
in holiness and ha])piness unattainable. But 

In the first place, God promised justification to 

462 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

Adam as the reward of obedience, because he prom- 
ised him life as that reward. It is scarcely snpposa- 
ble that God promised not to kill Adam, or not to 
allow him to die, as long as he continued obedient. 
It would have been a necessar}' inference from the 
character of God and of man's relation to him, that 
he would preserve the existence of an obedient and 
loving subject. If any conclusion, however, could be 
collected from the threatening, In the day thou eatest 
thereof thou shalt surely die, bearing the nature of a 
promise it would simply be a promise of exemption 
from death, or the continuance of existence. This is 
not the highest and most significant sense in which 
the Scriptures employ the term life^ as might be 
evinced by numerous passages. In connection with 
the enjoyment of God's favor it is used to signify 
perpetual, indefectible w^ell-being: it is life everlast- 
ing. That God promised this kind of life to Adam 
in the event of his continuing obedient during the 
time of probation assigned him, is conclusively shown 
by the consideration that as, according to the Scrip- 
tures, there was an analogy betw^een Christ and 
Adam, the life promised to Christ on condition of 
obedience must have been the same in kind, however 
different in degree of fulness, with that which was 
promised to Adam in case he stood his trial. But 
the life promised to Christ and in him to his seed was 
everlasting life. That supposes justification. As, 
therefore, God promised justification to Adam, a cov- 
enant is proved: since without a covenant justifica- 
tion would have been impossible. 

In the second place, the analogy between Christ 
and Adam directly proves that justification was the 

The Ground of Justification. 463 

reward promised to Adam, As it certainly was 
promised to Christ, so must it have been to Adam. 
Otherwise there is no analogy between the two. A 
covenant with Adam is thus clearly proved to have 

It has thus been shown that all men had a legal 
probation in Adam as their legal representative under 
the covenant of works. As their representative 
failed in standing the trial, they all failed in him, 
and are, therefore, no longer in a state of legal proba- 
tion. There is no possibility of their obeying the 
law in order to justification. How, in themselves 
and by their own efforts, can the condemned be justi- 
fied? "Therefore, by the deeds of the law shall no 
flesh be justified ; for by the law is the knowledge of 

Secondly^ The question next arises, What is the 
probationary relation which men now sustain to the 
government of God? Upon this subject the Calvin- 
istic doctrine is : that by virtue of a covenant between 
God the Father and God the Son, the Son was ap- 
pointed the Federal Head and Legal Representative 
of those sovereignly elected by the Father to be re- 
deemed ; that the Son accepted the commission, be- 
came incarnate, and undertaking to fulfil the covenant 
of works which Adam had failed to keep, as well as 
to satisfy the justice of God for its infraction, per- 
fectly obeyed the law in its precept and its penalty, in 
his life and in his death, in the place of his seed, and 
rose again for their justification ; and that thus their 
legal probation was finished in him : they, as sinners, 
being convinced of sin by the Holy Spirit, and by 
him persuaded and enabled to renounce all legal 

464 Calviiiism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

efforts to secure acceptance with God, and simply to 
believe in Jesus Christ as the condition of their actual 

There is also, in consequence of the indiscriminate 
offer of salvation to all who hear the gospel, what 
iiia\- be termed an evangelical probation. Those to 
whom the sound of the gospel comes are tested in re- 
gard to their willingness to embrace Christ, and rest 
upon his righteousness alone for salvation. In this 
sort of jDrobation there is no legal element. It is, in- 
deed, not probation proper. It is evident tliat it is 
confined to those who are in contact with the gospel 
and does not, therefore, refer to the case of the 

There is, in addition, a subordinate species of pro- 
bation to which those who are believers in Christ and 
adopted children of God are subjected, under the ope- 
ration of the rule which is exercised over God's own 
house in accordance with the principle of fatherly 
justice. They are proved or tested with reference to 
their faithfulness, and correspondingly with the de- 
gree of it which they exhibit will that justice mete 
out to them the rewards won by Christ, and assign 
them their stations in the kingdom of glory. Salva- 
tion — the salvation of Paul and the penitent thief — is 
entirely of grace, the rewards of the heav^enly state 
are all purchased by the merit of Christ alone; but 
the proportion in which the rewards will be adminis- 
tered to individuals will be determined by fatherly 
justice in accordance with the fidelity of the saints on 
earth. In this paternal rule over God's own house 
there is no element of retribution. The government 
is wholly disciplinary. Punishment gives way to 

The Ground of Justification. 465 

chastisement. The Ruler and Judge is both Father 
and Saviour. It is needless to say that this sort of 
probation is not legal in the sense tliat it it is in order 
to justification. Justification is presupposed. Nor is 
it in order to salv^ation. It is in order to the degree 
in which glory shall be experienced. 

It is obvious that the Calvinistic position in regard 
to probation since the Fall, which has thus been 
briefly stated, depends upon tlie doctrines of Uncon- 
ditional Election and Federal Representation, the 
proofs of which have been furnished in the preceding 
discussion. If those doctrines are true, the view of 
probation which has been given follows as a necessary 

Let us turn now to the Evangelical Arminian doc- 
trine. It is: That concurrent with the decree to per- 
mit the Fall was a decree to provide redemption from 
its effects for all the fallen race; that, accordingly, 
the atonement of Christ was oflfered to make the sal-; 
vation of all men possible; that by virtue of the atone- 
ment the free gift came upon every man unto justifi- 
cation of life; that the guilt of Adam's sin is removed 
from every man at or after birth; that a degree of 
spiritual life and of free-will is imparted to every man, 
whereby he is assisted to work righteousness, in case 
he has not the gospel, to repent and believe in Christ, 
in case he has it; and that God has entered into a 
covenant of grace wnth all men, in which he promises 
them justification in the event of their fulfilling the 
above-mentioned conditions, and persevering in that 
fulfilment to the end. All men are thus in a state of 
^Siew and gracious probation." All these positions 
except that concerning the working of righteousness 

466 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, 

apart from the knowledge of the gospel, and that in 
regard to the covenant of grace with all men, have 
been subjected to minnte examination in the previous 
discussion of Election and Reprobation. There are 
two questions that fall to be considered here: first, in 
respect to the covenant, and, secondly, in relation to 
the way in which, on this theory of probation, justifi- 
cation may be attained. 

First, Calvinists affirm, and Arminians deny, that 
there was a covenant between God the Father on the 
one side, and on the other God the Son as Mediator, 
Federal Head and Representative of an elect seed 
given to him to be redeemed. The only covenant, 
contemplating salvation, which is admitted by Ar- 
minians is a covenant directly made with men. The 
covenant as viewed by Calvinists was conditioned, so 
far as merit was concerned, upon the obedience of the 
Son; and is therefore, as to the certainty of its ac- 
complishment, entirely unconditioned upon the qual- 
ities, acts and conduct of men. Faith is required 
from men in order to their conscious union with 
Christ the covenant-head, and their actual justifica- 
tion in him. But this is no uncertain, contingent 
condition. It is a gift of God made certain to the 
human covenantees by the perfect fulfilment of his 
federal engagements by Christ and the unchanging 
promises of God the Father to him. The covenant 
of redemption or grace has two faces — one looking 
directly to Christ the Federal Head and Represent- 
ative, the other indirectly or mediately through him 
to the elect constituents who were with him and in 
him a party to the covenant. Hence it has an imme- 
diate administration by the Father to Christ, and a 

The Ground of Justificatio)i. 467 

mediate adiiiinistration, of a testamentary character, 
tlirougli and by Christ to the elect. The question 
now is in regard to the fact of a covenant between 
God the Father and God the Son. Is there such a 
covenant, or is there merely a covenant between God 
and men ? The question is one which can only be 
settled by a reference to the testimonies of Scripture. 
That there is a covenant between the Father and the 
Son is provable, either directly or inferentially, by an 
appeal to them. 

In the first place, such a covenant is expressly af- 
firmed. Ps. Ixxxix. 28-34: "My mercy will I keep 
for him forevermore, and my covenant shall stand 
fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure 
forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his 
children forsake my law, and walk not in my judg- 
ments ; if they break my statutes, and keep not my 
commandments; then will I visit their transgression 
with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. Never- 
theless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take 
from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My cov- 
enant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is 
gone out of my lips." Isa. xlii. 6: "I the Lord have 
called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, 
and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of 
the people, for a light of the Gentiles." These pas- 
vSages refer to Christ, and especially the first asserts 
explicitly the existence of a covenant between the 
Father and him. 

In the second place, all the passages are in proof 
^vhich set forth an unconditional covenant to save. 
Isa. lix. 21: "As for me, this is my covenant with 
them, saith the Lord : My Spirit that is upon thee, 

468 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniiniaiiism. 

and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall 
not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth 
of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, 
saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever." Isa. 
Iv. 3: "Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, 
and your soul shall live ; and I will make an everlast- 
ing covenant wdth you, even the sure mercies of 
David." Jer. xxxi. 31-34: "Behold, the days come, 
saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with 
the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah ; 
not according to the covenant that I made with their 
fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to 
bring them out of the land of Egypt ; which my 
covenant they brake, although I was an husband 
unto them, saith the Lord ; but this shall be the cov- 
enant that I will make with the house of Israel : 
After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law 
in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; 
and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 
And they shall teach no more every man his neigh- 
bor, and every man his brother, saying. Know the 
Lord : for they shall all know me, from the least of 
them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord : for I 
will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their 
sin no more." The use made of this promise by the 
writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews forbids its re- 
striction to a merely national sense. Here then is an 
unconditional covenant to save, which cannot possi- 
bly be such a covenant as the Arminian describes — one 
conditioned upon the conduct of men. 

In the third place, the passages are appealed to 
which declare ih.^ projnises made by the Father to the 
Son. A few onlv will be cited: Psalms ii. 8: "Ask 

The Ground of Justification. 469 

of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine in- 
heritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for 
thy possession." Ps. Ixxii. Zech. vi. 12, 13: "And 
speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of 
hosts, saying. Behold the man whose name is the 
BRANCH: and he shall grow up out of his place, 
and he shall build the temple of the Lord: even he 
shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear 
the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; 
and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the 
counsel of peace shall be between them both." Gal. 
iii. 15, 16: "Brethren, I speak after the manner 
of men: Though it be but a man's covenant, yet 
if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth 
thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the 
promises made. He saith not. And to seeds, as of 
many; but as of one. And to thy seed, which is 
Christ." This is very clear. The promises to Christ, 
are said to belong to a divine covenant, which must, 
of course, have been made with him. The covenant 
contains the promises, and the promises are expressly 
declared to have been made to Christ. He receives 
the promises; in him they are not yea and nay, but 
yea and amen; and he administers them to sinners, 
their fulfilment to them experimentally being condi- 
tioned upon their acceptance of the gracious invita- 
tions of the gospel. They must come to Christ ere 
they can partake of the promises. Nothing without 
Christ: he stands between them and God, as the 
depositary of his promises contemplating the salva- 
tion of sinners. The promises suppose a covenant 
between the Father and the Son, by virtue of wliich 
they are first made to the Son, and through him 

470 Caknnisjn and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

administered to believing sinners. He who denies 
this denies the gospeL Let one example suffice. 
"Come unto me," said the Lord Jesus, "and I will 
give you rest." The sinner is invited to come to 
Christ, and the promise of rest, conditioned upon the 
acceptance of that invitation, is administered by 
Christ: "I will give you rest." But in the imme- 
diate context Jesus declares, "All things are delivered 
unto me of my Father." The Father delivers the 
promises of salvation to the Son, who dispenses them 
to the believing sinner. The same thing is explicitly 
asserted in the seventh and eiq;hth verses of the sev- 
enteenth chapter of John. What is this but a cov- 
enant betwixt the Father and the Son? 

In the fourth place, those passages may be adduced 
in which it is taught, that the Father, whose own the 
elect are, gives them to the Son that he might die for 
them, redeem them, and keep them to everlasting life, 
and that the Son voluntarily accepted the trust and 
consented to fulfil the great commission. In that 
wonderful allegory in the tenth chapter of John in 
which his pastoral office is so beautifully and affect- 
ingly depicted, the Lord Jesus speaking of his sheep, 
and expressly discriminating them from those who 
refused to believe in him because they were not of his 
sheep, says, "My Father which gave them me is 
greater than all." In the seventeenth chapter of the 
same gospel he speaks more definitely still to this 
point: "I have manifested thy name unto the men 
which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they 
were, and thou gavest them me ... I pray for them: 
I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast 
g.vcii me; for they are thine. And all mine are 

The Ground of Justification. 471 

thine, and thine are mine . . . Holy Father, keep 
through thine own name those whom thon hast given 
me, that they may be one, as we are," The trifling 
o-loss which would restrict this awfullv solemn praver 
to the apostles is destroyed by the Saviour's express 
extension of it to all his believing people: "Neither 
pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall 
believe on me through their word." These state- 
ments absolutely establish the fact that the Father 
gave those who were by his sovereign election his 
own to the Son to be his and to be by him redeemed. 
The context in the tenth chapter of John also shows 
that the Son, as a co-equal party in the august trans- 
action, voluntarily accepted the gift, and engaged to 
fulfil the commission which he had received of his 
Father. "Therefore doth my Father love me, be- 
cause I lay down my life that I might take it again. 
No man [Greek: none] taketh it from me, but I lay 
it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and 
I have power to take it again. This commandment 
have I received of my Father." The Father nomi- 
nated the Son as Redeemer; the Son accepted the 
nomination. The Father commissioned the Son to 
undertake the stupendous office; the Son, a sovereign 
actor, master of his life, freely consented. His com- 
pliance was not extorted from him as a necessitated 
obedience to resistless authority; it was freely ren- 
dered as an expression of love to his Father and 
charity towards sinful man. O inconceivable mani- 
festation of love to God and pity for man, blended 
into unity in the spontaneous outgoing of an infinite 
heart! No wonder the Father loved him, since he 
cheerfullv consented to become incarnate, and to lay 

472 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

down his life amidst the shame and anguish of the 
Cross. One would be blind indeed who did not see 
in this ineffable counsel between the Father and the 
Son the elements of a covenant ! We have also a 
plain testimony to the same effect from the fortieth 
Psalm, confirmed in the Epistle to the Hebrews: 
"Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine 
ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering 
hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in 
the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight 
to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my 
heart." Called of the Father to the sacrifice of him- 
self in order to the purgation of a guilt which no ac- 
cumulation of lesser victims could remove, he cheer- 
fully assented to the divine vocation. It is perfectly 
evident that there was a mysterious but real agree- 
ment between the Father and the Son toucliing an 
enterprise which proposed to secure the glory, of the 
divine name consistently with the salvation of the 
guilty. A theology which does not recognize this 
fact shoots, like "a deceitful bow," short of the mark. 
In the fifth place, those Scriptures are referred to, 
which assert an analogy between Christ and Adam, 
and those which show that God has always dealt with 
men upon the principle of Federal Representation. 
Enough has already been said to prove that the fact 
of a parallelism between Christ and Adam is affirmed 
in the fifth chapter of Romans, the fifteenth of First 
Corinthians and the second of Hebrews. This will 
be denied by none but Pelagians, Socinians and 
Rationalizers. It has also been proved that there 
was a covenant between God and Adam, in which he 
was appointed the head and representative of his 

The Ground of Justification, 473 

posterity. That being granted, and tlie analogy be- 
tween him and Christ being allowed, it follows that 
there was also a covenant between God and Christ, 
the second Adam, in which he was constituted the 
Head and Representative of his posterity. All who 
under the covenant of works were represented by 
Adam were implicated in his disobedience and died; 
under the covenant of grace all who were represented 
by Christ partake of his righteousness and live. That 
the principle of y^^<?r^/ representation is fundamental 
iiTBbTli'cases is too plain to be successfully gainsaid. 
What is taught is not only that there is generally a 
covenant embraced in both cases, but specifically a 
covenant between God and Adam in the first case, 
and a covenant between God and Christ in the second. 
In neither case was there a covenant between God 
and men apart from a federal head. The Calvinistic 
position is proved, that God enters into covenant 
with men only as they are considered in Christ a 
federal Head and Representative; and the Arminian 
is disproved that God institutes a covenant with men 
considered in themselves, apart from implication with 
Christ in that capacity. God has never entered into 
a covenant relation to man except through a federal 

Furthei, all the statements of Scripture — and their 
name is legion — which evince the possibility of justi- 
fication to sinners, prove the existence of a covenant, 
and a covenant between God and a representative 
head. Attention is again called to the fact — so often 
and so strangely overlooked — that, theoretically, jus- 
tification is impossible without a covenant, and, his- 
torically, it is impossible without federal representa- 


Calvinism and Evano^clical Arniinianism. 

tion. Had it pleased God at first simply to require 
of man obedience to law, the subject could never 
have been justified, for the plain reason that justifica- 
tion supposes a close of probation and confirmation in 
life, and no period in an immortal existence could 
liave been reached at which the subject could claim 
that he had finished his legal obedience and had be- 
come entitled to the reward of confirmation, so as to 
be beyond the contingency of a fall into sin. This 
has been already argued, and is so obvious that it 
need not be again insisted upon. Without a cov- 
enant limiting the time of trial and freely proposing 
the reward of confirmation when it should expire, 
justification would be impossible,. This is what is 
meant by its theoretical impossibility. But it did not 
please God to enter into a covenant with every in- 
dividual of the race, in which he limited his time of 
probation, and promised to him the reward of justifi- 
cation in the event of his continuing to obey during 
that time. He collected the race into legal unity 
upon the first man as the representative of all men, 
and entered into covenant with him in that capacity, 
limiting his and their period of probation and mak- 
ing justification possible to him and to them in him. 
Had he stood and been justified, the}' would have 
stood and been justified in him; virtually justified 
when he was justified, actually justified when each 
had consciously appropriated his vicarious and repre- 
sentative obedience. This is what is meant by the 
historical impossibility of justification without federal 
representation. Under the actual plan of government 
which God adopted, no man could have been justified 
except upon the foot of representation. 

' The Ground of JustiJicatio)i. 475 

Just so now. No man can be justified without a 
covenant ; and so far the Calvinist and the iVrininian 
appear to agree, with the important exception that, 
on the supposition of a covenant, the former means 
by the justification which might be attained indefec- 
tible life, the latter, a precarious and losable life, 
which really is no justification at all. As to the theo- 
retical impossibility of justification in some sense, 
they are in accord. Here, however, they part, the 
Calvinist denying and the Arminian affirming that 
men may be justified without having been represented 
by Christ under a covenant between the Father and Y 
him, in which he was appointed a federal head and 
representative. And in parting doctrinally with the 
Calvinist at this point, the Arminian parts doctrinally 
with the first Adam, the Second Adam, the Word of 
God, and the history of the divine dispensations to- 
wards the race. 

The proof from Scripture which has now been fur- 
nished of a covenant between God the Father and 
God the Son as the Representative of his people, is 
vital to the question in hand. If such a covenant 
existed, the Calvinistic doctrine as to probation is es- 
tablished, and the Arminian refuted. For, if it ex- 
isted, it is clear that the legal probation of his people 
was finished by the perfect obedience of Christ their 
Representative, just as, had Adam stood, the legal 
probation of his descendants would have been suc- 
cessfully concluded by his obedience, and, as he fell, 
it was brought to a disastrous close by his sin. There 
are two alternatives to the Arminian : If he admit a 
covenant between the Father and Christ, and hold 
that all men were represented by Christ under that 

476 Calvinis7n and Evangelical Armiiiianism. 

covenant, he must concede the close of legal proba- 
tion to all men, and their certain salvation. If he 
contend that all men have a legal probation, he is 
bound to deny such a covenant. He may say, that 
he declines each of these alternatives, and holds that 
all men are in a state of ''gracious probation," which 
Christ as IMediator of the new covenant has merited 
for them. Their doctrine on this subject is utterly 
confused and inconsistent with itself as well as with 
Scripture, as will be evinced in the consideration of 
the remaining question in regard to this branch of 
the subject. • 

Secondly, What is the way in which, upon the 
Evangelical Arminian theory of probation, justifica- 
tion may be attained? 

In the first place, the ground is explicitly taken 
that Christ was made a second general Parent and 
Representative of the whole human race. "In this 
state we were," says Wesley, "even all mankind, 
when ' God so loved the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son, to the end we might not perish but have 
everlasting life.' In the fulness of time he was made 
man, another common head of mankind, a second 
general Parent and Representative of the whole hu- 
man race." ' Pope says: " He was the Representative 
of sinful mankind." ^ 

In the second place, it is expressly maintained that 
there can be no justification except by faith. "By 
affirming," remarks Wesley, "that this faith is the 
term or condition of justification^ I mean, first, that 

^ Serm. on Justification by FaitJi. 

' Comp. Chris. Theol., vol. ii., p. 156. 

The Ground of Justification. 477 

there is no justification without it." ' Again he says: 
*'Who are justified? None but those who were first 
predestinated. Who are predestinated ? None but 
those whom God foreknew as believers. Thus the 
purpose and work of God stand unshaken as the pil- 
lars of heaven, ' he that believeth shall be saved: he 
that believeth not shall be dammed.' And thus God 
is clear from the blood of all men; since whoever per- 
ishes, perishes by his own act and deed. ' They will 
not come unto me,' says the Saviour of men; 'and 
there is no salvation in any other.' They will not 
believe: and there is no other way to present or eter- 
nal salvation." ^ 

Watson approves the views just cited from Wesley,* 
and uses these words of his own: "On the one hand, 
therefore, it is the plain doctrine of Scripture that 
man is not, and never was in any age, justified by 
works of any kind, whether moral or ceremonial; on 
the other, that he is justified by the imputation and 
accounting of ' faith for righteousness.' " * 

In the third place, it is asserted that men ignorant 
of Christ may, by prevenient grace assisting them, be 
justified by complying with the law of conscience, 
that the heathen may be justified without believing 
in Christ. This is a most extraordinary allegation, 
and needs to be substantiated by decisive proof. The 
words of Watson, in which Wesley is quoted, are cited 
in its support: " If all knowledge of right and wrong, 
and all gracious influence of the Holy Spirit, and all 
objects [N. B.] of faith, have passed away from the 
heathen, through the fiuilt of their ancestors 'not 

^ Serm. on Just, by Faith. "^ Serm. on Predestination. 

' Theol. Inst., vol. ii., p. 247. ^ Ibid., p. 236. 

478 Calvinism and Evaiigelical Armijiianisni. 

liking to retain God in their knowledge,' and without 
the present race having been parties to this wilful 
abandonment of truth, then they would appear no 
loneer to be accountable creatures, being neither 
under law nor under grace ; but, as we find it a doc- 
trine of Scripture that all men are responsible to God, 
and that the ' whole world ' will be judged at the 
last day, we are bound to admit the accountability of 
all, and with that, the remains of law and the exist- 
ence of a merciful government toward the heathen 
on the part of God. With this the doctrine of St. 
Paul accords. No one can take stronger views of the 
actual danger and the corrupt state of the Gentiles 
than he; yet he affirms that the divine law had not 
perished wholly from among them; and though they 
had received no revealed law, yet they had a law 
'written on their hearts;' meaning, no doubt, the tra- 
ditionary law, the equity of which their consciences 
attested; and, farther, that though they had not the 
written law, yet, that 'by nature,' that is, 'without 
an outward rule, though this, also, strictly speaking, 
is by preventing grace,' {JVesley^s Notes^ in loc.) they 
were capable of doing all the things contained in the 
law [!]. He affirms, too, that all such Gentiles as 
were thus obedient, should be 'justified, in the day 
when God shall judge the secrets of men, by Jesus 
Christ, according to his gospel.'"^ The same marvel- 
lous view is expressed by Ralston: "St. Paul, in the 
second chapter to the Romans, clearly shows that 
'there is no respect of persons with God;' and that 
'the Gentiles, which have not the law,' may [!] 'do 
by nature (that is, by the assistance which God af- 
^Ibid., p. 446. 

The Ground of Justification. 479 

fords them, independent of the written law) the things 
contained in the law,' act np to the requirements of 
'their conscience,' and be esteemed as 'just before 
God.' " ' " Pious heathen — such as Melchizedek, Job, 
and Cornelius," are appealed to as instances of this 
justification by law through the help of prevenient 
grace ! 

Did ever theology travail in birth to be delivered 
of such a batch of prodigies ? ^Well might she have 
cried again in pain to be delivered /ro'//^ them! First, 
Christ is the Head of all mankind. Well, then, all 
his members live because their Head lives. No, 
myriads of his members confessedly perish forever. 
Christ is the common Parent of all mankind. But 
how are they his children ? By natural birth ? He 
was never married, as was Adam, and left no carnal 
issue. By regeneration ? No, these theologians ad- 
mit that all men are not regenerated. By a miracu- 
lous act of creation ? No, they of course hold that 
all men, since Adam, are born according to natural 
law. How, then, is Christ the parent of all men ? 
In the name of Scripture and of reason. How ? 
Christ is the Representative of all men. Of course, 
then, all men as his constituents are justified and live 
in consequence of his obedience, just as all men, the 
constituents of Adam their representative, were con- 
demned and died because of his disobedience. Not 
at all; infants dying in infancy are justified and live, 
but innumerable multitudes of adults are not justified 
and die eternally. Yes, but justification is offered to 
all through Christ as their Representative. Was, 
then, condemnation offered to all through Adam as 
^ Elem. of Divinity, p. 2S6. 

480 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisin. 

their representative ? How comes it to pass that rep- 
resentation means actual condemnation in one case, 
and possible justification in the other, certain death 
in one, and contingent life in the other? Who can 
tell? Can these theologians? 

Next, justification is possible only to those who 
believe: faith in Christ is its indispensable condition. 
That is most true: it is the doctrine of Scripture. It 
follows, then, that thpse who never heard of Christ 
cannot be justified, for Paul speaking by the Holy 
Ghost says, How can they believe in him of whom 
they have not heard? They cannot believe in Christ 
unless they have heard of him: they cannot be justi- 
fied unless they believe in Christ. Consequently, the 
heathen who have never heard of Christ, and there- 
fore cannot believe in him, cannot be justified. By 
no means does this mournful consequence follow, say 
the Arminian theologians. The heathen may be jus- 
tified through the help of common grace by obeying 
the law written on their hearts; otherwise they would 
not be accountable. What! May j'^'w^ men be jus- 
tified by the deeds of the law, when the Scripture 
says, "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justi- 
fied ? ' ' Yes, by the help of grace. Their justification 
would not be by works of law but by grace, eliciting 
into exercise the "principle" of faith in "some ob- 
jects of faith," though not in Christ as one of them. 
Well, then, would Adam, if he had stood and wrought 
obedience during his time of probation, have been 
justified by grace, because he would have had the 
help of grace in " working righteousness?" Was the 
Pharisee justified by grace, when he ascribed his 
righteousness to the assistance of grace? Did he not 

The Ground of Justification. 481 

say, *'God, I thank thee, that I ain not as other men 
are?" Oh, no, could the heathen, by the help of 
grace, obey the law of nature, they would not be jus- 
tified by grace, but by the works of the law. The 
ground of their justification would not be another's 
righteousness, but their own, not Christ's merits, but 
their own works. The thing is utterly impossible, 
and without its being discussed further, it is suffi- 
cient to use against it the Arminian's own argument, 
backed by the unanimous suffrage of Protestants: 
Without faith in Christ there is no justification. Was 
it not said with truth, that the Arminian doctrine of 
probation is confused and inconsistent with itself as 
well as with the Scriptures? According to the teach- 
ing of God's word, and to the admission of Arminian 
theologians themselves with reference to original sin 
and the necessity of faith in Christ in order to the 
justification of sinners, the legal probation of the 
heathen was finished when Adam fell; and their 
evangelical probation begins only when they come in 
contact with the gospel. When they believe they are 
brought into conscious union with Christ, who, as 
the Second Adam, finished the legal probation of his 
people, and merited for them eternal life. 

This, according to the plan proposed, completes the 
discussion of the Ground of Justification. 



The next great division of the snbject which 
claims consideration is the Nahu^e of Justification — 
in what does it consist? As has been already stated, 
the Calvinistic answer to this question is, that justifi- 
cation consists, first, in the pardon or non-imputation 
of guilt, and, secondly, in the acceptance of one's 
person as righteous, and his formal investiture with a 
right and title to eternal life. The Evangelical 
Arminian answer is, that justification consists in 
pardon. In this there is such agreement among 
standard writers that quotations are unnecessary. 
The only apparent difference arises from the opinion 
of some that justification also included acceptance of 
the person; but the acceptance intended is nothing 
more than is necessarily involved in pardon. Who- 
soever is pardoned is accepted of God. In regard to 
what the Calvinist denominates the first element of 
justification there is agreement between the parties: 
both hold that justification involves pardon. It is in 
respect to the Calvinist' s second element that differ- 
ence emerges between them — namely, the acceptance 
of the sinner's person as righteous and his investiture 
with a title to eternal life. This the Calvinist affirms, 
the Arminian denies. 

In seeking for the reasons of this difference we find 

The Nature of Justijicatioi. 483 

that they are the affirmation by one party and the 
denial by the other of the strict and proper represen- 
tative office of Christ, and conseqnently of the inipn- 
tation of the merit of his obedience to the believer. 
This is the hinge of the discnssion. That Christ was 
strictly and properly a legal Representative has al- 
ready been established in the consideration of the 
Objections to Election, etc' This is a point of the 
last importance. The earliest and best Evangelical 
Arminian theologians speak of representation, bnt it 
is evident that they use the term in a loose sense, a 
sense not justified by the scriptural statements which 
relate either to the scheme of natural religion or of 
the gospel. The account given of the office dis- 
charged by Adam in connection with his posterity, 
the sacrificial ritual of the Mosaic economy, and 
especially the argument of Paul, concerning the 
fundamental doctrine of substitution, and the parallel 
asserted by him between the first and the second 
Adam, in the Epistle to the Romans, together with 
other express declarations upon the same subject in 
other parts of the New Testament, enforce with the 
clearness of light the fact of strict and proper legal 
representation. This fact Evangelical Arminians do 
not admit. And yet they concede substitution when 
treating of the expiatory sufferings and death of 
Christ. But what is substitution but representation? 
What, a d\ing substitute but a dying representative? 
^nd if one has, under the sanction of a competent 
government, died as the substitute of another, how 
can he who was died for, die himself? Can justice 
require two deaths — one of the substitute and another 
^ See pp. 240-242. 

484 Calviiiis)]! and Evangelical Arniinia)iisin. 

of the principal? Would not that be equivalent to 
two deaths of the principal? Even human govern- 
ments do not inflict this injustice. During the 
Napoleonic wars, a recruiting officer told a certain 
man that he would enroll him and send him to the 
field. The man replied that he was not liable to 
military duty, as he was dead. "How are you dead," 
said the officer, "when you are speaking to me?" 
"I hired a substitute," was the rejoinder; "he was 
killed in battle and I died in him." "I will report 
the case to the emperor," exclaimed the sergeant. 
He did so, and the emperor confirmed the position 
taken by the man. "Let him alone," said Napoleon, 
"the man is right." Did God appoint Christ a substi- 
tute? Did Christ accept the appointment? Then, it 
is impossible for those who died a legal death in him 
to die the same sort of death themselves. "He who 
does a thing through another does it himself." 

In denying this Arminians reject the very genius 
of substitution. "Strictly speaking," says Pope, 
"Christ is not a Substitute for any man. He is the 
tlepresentative and Vicar of humanity, and the Other 
Self of the race, being the Second Adam."^ Here, 
then, is one form of the Arminian theory of substitu- 
tion ; but — 

In the first place. Is not a substitute for all men, a 
substitute for every man? Is not the whole human 
race composed of individual units? Or is "human- 
ity" an abstract entity, and not a collection of human 
beings? To say that Christ might have sacrificed 
himself for all in obedience to an impulse of love, 
and not in compliance with the demands of justice, 
^ Comp. Chris. Tlieol., vol. ii. p. 310. 

TJie Nature of Jus liji cation. 4S5 

is to adopt the Governmental theory of the atone- 
ment, or to occupy the ground of the Moral Influence 
School. But Arminian theologians reject both : they 
rio-htlv contend that the atonement was necessary to 
satisfy the strict requirements of justice. If so, the 
question returns, How could Christ, as vicariously 
dying for all men to redeem them from the curse of 
the law, be contemplated as having vicariously died 
for no particular man? The position is self-contra- 
dictory : Christ was the substitute of every man ; he 
was the substitute of no man ! And this is the more 
siuirular, in view of the fact that Arminians insist 
upon the text in the second chapter of Hebrews : "he 
tasted death for every man." How did he taste death 
for every man? Why, certainly, by dying as his sub- 
stitute. But it seems he tasted death for "human- 
ity," not "for any man ! " 

In the second place, Did liability to death attach to 
the whole human race? Yea. Did that involve the 
liability to death of every individual ? Yea. Was 
the liability to death of "humanity" transferred to 
Christ as its Substitute, Representative, Vicar? Yea 
or nay? If yea, did not that imply the transfer of 
every man's liability to death, and if so was not 
Christ the substitute of every man? If nay, how was 
Christ the substitute of humanity? Did he die under 
justice as the substitute of humanity without the 
transfer to him of its liability to death? Would jus- 
tice slay one who was neither consciously nor con- 
structively liable to death? 

In the third place, Christ is said to be "the Repre- 
sentative and Vicar of humanity, and the Other Self 
of the race, being the Second Adam." Fatal appeal 

486 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

to analogy ! Was Adam the representative of no 
man? Was he tl>e representative of humanity? It 
is humanity then that dies in Adam, not every par- 
ticular man ! But in this case we have facts to con- 
sult. All die, every mother's son. In representing 
humanity, therefore, he represented every human 
beine. If, then, Christ as the Second Adam was the 
Representative of humanity, he was the representa- 
tive of every human being. 

In the fourth place, Dr. Pope also says: "He is the 
other self also of every believer who claims his sacri- 
fice as his own." So, then, the actual death of the 
substitute results in the possible life of humanity, 
and it depends upon faith whether any individual will 
attain to actual life. But if Christ were not by God's 
appointment and by his own consenting act a substi- 
tute of the individual believer, how could faith 
make him such? The statement is ineffably absurd. 
"Christ is not a substitute for any man," but some 
men, by the magical power of faith, constitute him a 
substitute for them. Faith in what? Why, faith in 
the fact that Christ as a substitute died for them. 
And yet Christ did not die as a substitute for them. 
But if men cannot believe that Christ died for them 
individually, the Remonstrants' Achilles pouts in his 
tent — that is, the aro-nment acjainst the Calvinist that 
he requires every man to believe that Christ died for 
him,^ when he holds that Christ died for the elect 
only. The Calvinist might, too, retort in this case: 
You require every man to believe that Christ died for 

^ Of course this is not true. The Calvinist holds that Christ died 
for sinners, and requires ever}' man to believe that. 

The Nature of Jiistijication. 487 

him, when you hold that he died for humanity only, 
not for any man. 

In the fifth place, as if to crown this heap of 
marvels, Dr. Pope says: "Christ's benefit is imparted 
before personal faith; and, in case of believers, their 
faith is the not rejecting what was before provided 
for them as their own." ' Christ was not a substitute 
for any believer, for he was not a substitute for any 
man. ' Yet the believer has only not to reject Christ's 
benefit before provided for him. What can this 
mean? Christ was a substitute for humanity and 
thus provides beforehand a general benefit from 
which each believer may appropriate his share? If 
this be not the meaning, the only other is that Christ 
was a strict and proper substitute for humanity. If 
so, humanity must be delivered from death. But 
how that could take place, without the deliverance of 
every man from death, it is impossible to see. ^ If it 
be the meaning, then as the substitution of Christ for 
humanity secured a general benefit for the race, it 
secured a special benefit beforehand which each 
believer may appropriate as what was his own. 
Where then is the sense in saying that Christ was a 
substitute for humanity but not for any man? If a 
part of the general benefit belongs to the individual 
believer, the substitution which procured the benefit 
must have been for him; and so would have been for 
particular men: is he not a man? Dr. Pope entangles 
himself in contradictions because he will not accept 
the true conception of substitution. If he did, he 
could not remain an Arminian: he must elect either 

^Comp. Chris. TheoL, vol. ii, p. S"- 

488 Calviitism aitd Eva^tgelical Arminianism. 

Calvinism or Universalism. There would be no 
middle ground between them. 

Another form of the theory of substitution is thus 
expressed by Dr. Raymond: "It is said that it [the 
death of Christ] is a substituted penalty; we say it is 
a substitute for a penalty; it is not itself a penalty, it 
takes the place of a penalty." Again: "It may be 
said that the death of Christ is the equivalent of 
obedience, but manifestly it is its equivalent in no 
other sense than that it saves the subject from 
penalty as fully and perfectly as obedience would 
have saved him; it is not obedience itself, nor a sub- 
stituted obedience.'^' This lax view is answered by 
the judgment of Mr. Watson himself, definitely ex- 
hibited in such a passage as this: "How explicitly 
the death of Christ is represented in the New Testa- 
ment as penal^ which it could not be in any other 
way than by his taking our place, and suffering in 
our stead, is manifest also from Gal. iii. 13, "Christ 
hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, beincr 
made a curse [an execration] for us, for it is written, 
Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."^ But 
let Dr. Raymond answer himself: "The death of 
Christ," he observes, "is declarative; is a declaration 
that God is a righteous being and a righteous sove- 
reign. It satisfies the justice of God, both essential 
and rectoral, in that it satisfactorily proclaims them 
and vindicates them by fully securing their ends— the 
glon^ of God and the welfare of his creatures."-^ 

If we take Mr. Watson's view, that the death of 

'^Syst. Theol., vol. ii, pp. 261, 262. 
^Theol. Inst., vol. ii, p. 112. 
^Syst. Theol., vol. ii, p. 259. 

The Native of Justification. 489 

Christ was penal, we must hold that in dying Christ 
endnred the penalty of the law. Bnt as that writer 
maintained that the death of Christ was vicarious — 
that it was undergone in the room and stead of others, 
it follows that his endurance of the penalty for others 
discharged them from the obligation to endure it 
themselves, otherwise the penalty would be twice in- 
flicted. But J\Ir. Watson was wedded to the doctrine 
of universal atonement, and therefore did not push 
out his scriptural view of substitution to its legitimate 
extent. If we adopt Dr. Raymond's view we accept 
a contradiction, for he denies that Christ endured the 
penalty of the law in his death, and yet contends that 
his death declared and vindicated the justice of God. 
First, we have the removal of the penalty altogether, 
since neither Christ endured it, nor does the pardoned 
sinner. The penalty, an essential element of law, is 
sunk. Yet, secondly, we have a declaration and vin- 
dication of divine justice. Manifestly, there is a 
contradiction, however ingeniously the author might 
attempt to explain it away. The truth is, and it will 
not brook denial, that no moral being could, under 
the government of God, suffer and die, were he both 
consciously and putatively innocent. He might, per- 
haps, consent, but a just God could not. Before he 
could suffer and die, he must be either a conscious 
sinner, or with his own consent, and by his voluntary 
assumption of the guilt of others, be judicially ac- 
counted and treated as guilty. The latter supposition 
has been rendered possible under the divine govern- 
ment, inasmuch as God, the supreme Sovereign, has 
been pleased to admit the principle of substitution. 
In no other wav could the consciously guilty escape 

490 Calz'inisni and Ez^angclical Arniinimiism. 

the penalt}- of the law. The substitute whom God 
accepts nnist undergo the penalty in the place of the 
guilty. On no other terms could pardon be extended 
without an outrage to justice, a dishonor to law, and 
an injury to the interests of the moral government of 
the universe. 

Two qualifications were absolutely required in a 
substitute for sinners: first, he must be consciously, 
inherently, perfectly innocent previously to his under- 
taking the vicarious office, for, if he were guilty in 
any respect, he w^ould be obliged to suffer and die in 
consequence of his own liability to punishment ; sec- 
ondly, he must be both human and divine — human, 
that he might represent man and sympathize with 
him, and that he might suffer and die ; divine, that 
an infinite value might attach to his suffering and 
death ; that he might adequately represent God's na- 
ture and government ; that he might relieve the re- 
quirement under which he would act as a piacular 
victim of the appearance of excessive rigor in the 
eyes of beholders, and, in attaching those for whom 
he would devote himself as a substitute to himself by 
the ties of gratitude and love, to bind them by that 
very fact to the service of God ; and, finally, that, 
after laying down his life, he might by a resurrection- 
power take it up again from the dominion of the 
grave. All these qualifications Christ brought to the 
achievement of the enterprise committed to his hands 
by the authority of the Father, and spontaneously 
elected by himself. Now either he was strictly and 
properly a substitute, or he was not. If he were, he 
incurred all the legal obligation, every whit of it, 
resting upon those for whom he acted in order to jus- 

The Nature of Justification. 49 ^ 

tification, and perfectly discharged the whole of it, 
completely satisfying the demands of justice in rela- 
tion to that end; nothing being required of them, to 
that end, but to accept the substitute by faith and 
rely upon his righteousness for justification. If he 
were not strictly and properly a substitute, but in 
some inexplicable way he so suffered and died that the 
I)enefit of his vicarious acts accrued to all men in 
general, it being dependent upon their own free elec- 
tion, whether or not individual justification shall 
flow' from the general fund of merit; if Christ's suffer- 
ings and death, according to the amazing statement 
qu^'oted from Raymond, were "not obedience itself, 
nor a substituted obedience,"— then the requirements 
of justice are not satisfied in behalf of the original 
transgressors, the law is defrauded of its rights, m 
short there has been no proper substitution at all. 
This whole theory, in accordance with which a pro- 
vision was made, through the atoning death of Christ, 
for the bestowal of a general benefit upon the mass 
of mankind, from which each individual may by the 
election of his own will, with the assistance of grace, 
appropriate what is needed for his own salvation, 
whatever else it may be, is most certainly not a 
theory of substitution ; and it is more and more va- 
cating its claim to that designation, under the logic 
of the later Evangelical Arminian theologians, such 
as Dr. Pope and Dr. Raymond.' It neither accords, 
in general, with the law of substitution, nor, in par- 
ticular, with the Scripture accounts of the represen- 
tative sufferings and death of Christ. 

> Each of these writers has published a work ou Theology con- 
sisting of three volumes which, I have been informed, is used as 
a text-book. 

492 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

It has already been shown, by an appeal to the Or- 
acles of God, that in eternity God the Father entered 
(so we speak in our human dialect) into a covenant 
with God the Son, as the Mediator between God and 
man, and as the Head and Representative of those 
who were given him by the Father to be redeemed, 
of whom Jesus said that he would lose nothing, but 
raise it up at the last day. For tliese, in compliance 
with the stipulation of that covenant, Christ, in the 
fulness of time, obeyed the law which they had vio- 
lated, satisfied divine justice, and brought in everlast- 
ing righteousness, which constitutes the ground of 
their justification — that is, their confirmation in holi- 
ness and happiness forever. This is strict and proper 
substitution or representation, and necessarily sup- 
poses that the ^7//// of the sins of those whom Christ 
represented was, with his own consent and by the ju- 
dicial act of the Father, imputed to him, and that the 
merit of his righteousness is imputed to them. This 
Evangelical Arminians deny. Allusion was before 
made to Mr. Wesley's qualified use of the phrases 
righteousness of Chi'ist and inipitted righteousness^ but 
it really amounted to very little. All that he meant 
was that believers are pardoned for the sake of what 
Christ has done and suffered for them. He says: "In 
what sense is this righteousness imputed to believers? 
In this: all believers are forgiven and accepted, not 
for the sake of anything in them, or of anything that 
ever was, that is, or ever can be, done by them, but 
wholly and solely for the sake of what Christ hath 
done and suffered for them."^ "Christ therefore is 
now the righteousness of all them that truly believe 
^ Senn. on the Lord our Righteousness. 

The Nature of Justification. 493 

ill him." ' Further, says he: *'If we take the phrase 
of ' imputing Christ's righteousness' for the bestow- 
ing (as it were) the righteousness of Christ, including 
his obediencej as well passive as active, in the return 
of it; that is, in the privileges, blessings and benefits 
purchased by it: so a believer may be said to be justi- 
fied by 'the righteousness of Christ imputed.' The 
meaning is, God justifies the believer for the sake of 
Christ's righteousness, and not for any righteousness 
of his own." ^ True, he confirms, in this Sermon, a 
scriptural testimony to the imputation of Christ's 
righteousness to the person of the believer, which he 
had years before erected in the words of a noble 

"Jesus, thy blood and righteousness 
My beauty are, my glorious dress: 
'iNIidst flaming worlds, in these arrayed, 
With joy shall I lift up my head." 

But in another sermon, like Saturn devouring his 
own children, he eats up the glorious words of this 
hymn, sung alike by all believers, by Calvinists, and, 
with a happy inconsistency, by Arminians. "It may 
be worth our while," he observes, "to spend a few 
more words on this important point. Is it possible 
to devise a more unintelligible expression than this — 
'In what righteousness are we to stand before God at 
the last day?' Why do you not speak plain, and say, 
'For whose sake do you look to be saved?' Any 
plain peasant would then readily answer, 'For the 
sake of Jesus Christ.' But all those dark, ambiguous 
phrases tend only to puzzle the cause, and open a 
way for unwary hearers to slide into Antinomian- 


494 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

ism.'" Arrayed in Jesus' righteousness, lie would 
amidst flaming worlds lift up his head with joy (and 
no doubt he will), but it is not possible to devise a 
more unintelligible expression than to stand in Jesus' 
righteousness before God at the last day ! It is not 
my intention to dwell on this inconsistency — we are 
all more or less inconsistent — but to point out Mr. 
Wesley's real doctrine. In the extracts cited he indi- 
cates the ground of justification — the merit of Christ, 
its nature — pardon, and its condition — faith. He says 
nothing in regard to the mode in which God makes 
Christ's righteousness ours. The word impute is used, 
but not in its only true meaning, namely, to account 
or reckon to one either what he has done himself, 
or what another has done for him. Mr. Wesley did 
not intend to say that the obedience of Christ his 
representative is accounted or reckoned the believer's, 
just as though he had personally wrought it out. 
The passages quoted are confused and inconsistent. 
At one time it is said that Christ's righteousness is 
imputed in the sense that the believer is justified for 
his sake; at another, that it is imputed in the sense 
that it procures, "in the return of it" — Goodwin's 
expression — benefits for all men, which may be ap- 
propriated by faith. In both these senses the word 
impute is used, but in both loosely and abusively. 
The idea is wanting. And the school of Kvangelical 
Arminianism has since departed to a less extent from 
Mr. Wesley's doctrine on this point than would at 
first sight appear. It has broken with his language, 
and adhered to his views. Neither did he, nor 
do they, hold the scriptural doctrine of imputed 
^ Serrn. on Tlie Wed dins; Garment. 

The Nature of Justification. 495 

guilt and imputed righteousness. As to this matter 
the Evangelical Arminian doctrine is apparently self- 
consistent. It is, that there was no strict and proper 
imputation of Adam's guilt to his posterity, since he 
was not strictly and properly their legal representa- 
tive; but inasmuch as he was in some sense their 
representative the disastrous consequences of his sin 
were entailed upon them. In like manner, there is 
no strict and proper imputation of the merit of Christ 
to all men, since he was not strictly and properly 
their legal representative; but seeing he was in a cer- 
tain sense their representative, the beneficial conse- 
quences of his obedience are bestowed upon them. 
There are, however, two things which cannot escape 
notice in this apparently homogeneous scheme. The 
first is, that the disastrous consequences entailed by 
Adam's disobedience upon all men embraced the cer- 
tain condemnation and death of all men, but the 
benefits conferred because of Christ's obedience upon 
all men do not include the certain justification and 
life of all men. The consistency of the scheme, 
therefore, exists in general statements, not in facts. 
The injuries inflicted by Adam are not paralleled by 
the benefits conferred by Christ. The second notice- 
able thing is, that the disastrous consequences of 
Adam's disobedience were justly entailed upon all 
men, but the^ beneficial consequences of Christ's 
obedience were graciously entailed upon all men. 
The principle of justice operated in the one case, the 
principle of grace in the other. In regard to neither 
of the two things noticed, is the Arminian scheme 
adjustable to the inspired parallelism between Adam 
and Christ as representatives. The principle of re- 

49^ Calvinism and Evangelical Arnninianisvi. 

presentation is kissed but betrayed, and consequently 
the principle of imputation, as its necessary. corollary, 
shares the same fate. 

This leads to a consideration, brief at least, of the 
question whether the righteousness, or, what is the 
same, the vicarious obedience, of Christ is strictly 
and properly imputed. 

First, It is objected that the terms righteousness of 
Christy inipnted 7'ighteousness of Christy are not found 
in Scripture, and the inference is that the conceptions 
are not there. This is remarkable. Because these 
terms are not in Scripture, are the doctrines expressed 
by them not there: — the Trinity, Immediate Creation, 
Particular Providence, the Fall of Man, Original Sin, 
Vicarious Obedience of Christ, Satisfaction to Justice? 
And will Arminians grant that the doctrines signified 
by the following terms are not in Scripture because 
the terms are not expressly found there : Universal 
Atonement, Free Agency, Free Will, Vincible Grace, 
Defectibility of the Saints? The argument palpably 
proves too much, and is therefore nothing worth. It 
is frivolous. 

Secondly, The principle of strict and proper legal 
representation enforces strict and proper imputation. 
So much has already been said with reference to re- 
presentation that the point will not now be pressed. 
Convincing proof has been presented of the represen- 
tative office, strictly and properly, of Adam and 'of 
Christ. If Christ sustained that office, his obedience 
or righteousness is imputed to those whom he repre- 
sented. If there is no such imputation, Christ was 
not. a representative. Representation — imputation; 
no imputation — no representation. Any other doc- 

The Nature of Justificatioji. 497 

trine but juggles with tlie terms. If a "man in 
London should ha\'e a legal representative in New 
York, and the latter should, as such, incur an obliga- 
tion, it would in law be imputable to the former. If 
not, legal processes and human language are tissues 
of deception. 

Thirdly, the Scriptures either directly or indirectly 
prove the imputation of Christ's righteousness to his 

The whole Old Testament ritual of animal sacrifice 
proves the imputation of the believer's guilt to Christ. 
Unless this be admitted, that ritual loses its meaning. 
It were worse than folly to say that God forgives sin 
and imparts life for the sake of animal blood shed in 
sacrifice. There was then a transfer of the obligation 
to die from the worshipper to the animal victim, 
which symbolized the transfer of his guilt to Christ, 
the reality symbolized actually occurring in case he 
believed, that is, his guilt was actually imputed to 
Christ On the great day of atonement the guilt of 
the congregation was imputed to the goat that was 
slain, and that it was transferred and removed was 
proved by the ceremony in connection with the other 
goat which, having had the guilt of the people con- 
fessed over its head, with the imposition of the High 
Priest's hands, was sent away to the wilderness to re- 
turn no more. Ceremonial guilt was thus, ipso facto^ 
removed, and the guilt of conscience of every one who 
believed in the great sacrifice afterwards to be offered 
— a sacrifice preached from the gate of Eden to Cal- 
vary, from Adam to Christ — was completely purged 
away. That ceremonial guilt was taken away is 
proved by the a fortiori argument in the ninth chap- 

49^ CaluinisiJi and Evangelical Anninianisin. 

ter of Hebrews: ^'For if the blood of bulls and of 
goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the un- 
clean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the fiesh; how 
much more shall the blood of Christ, who through 
the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, 
purge your conscience from dead works to serve the 
living God?'^ Now, how did the blood of animals 
purge ceremonial guilt? Was that blood actually ap- 
plied to the worshipper? No, the guilt was imputed 
to the animal, and, in that way, was removed. 
Neither is the blood of Christ literally applied to the 
soul of the believer — how could it be? — but his guilt 
is imputed to Christ, who by his vicarious death, 
takes it away. This is explicitly taught in the fifty- 
third chapter of Isaiah. The prophet says of Christ 
the suffering Substitute, ^^the Lord hath laid on him 
the iniquity of us all,^^ or, as the margin has it, 
^'made the iniquities of us all to meet on him/^ and 
then designates those of whom he was speaking as 
*'my people:'^ "for the transgression of my people 
was he stricken. ^^ Who "my people^* are is further 
explained by the words, "when thou shalt make his 
soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed,^^ "by 
his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify 
many,^^ "and he bare the sin of many.''' He was 
made an offering for si7t^ not merely by philanthropic 
cally giving his life in order to secure benefits for sin- 
ners, but precisely by having their guilt imputed to 
him, and dying judicially as their subtitute. The 
same thing is asserted in the New Testament: Christ 
was made a curse for us, he bore our sins in his own 
body on the tree. It is inconceivable that this should 
have been true in any other way than putatively. 

The Nature of JuslifLcalioii. 499 

To say that lie did not really bear sins is flatly to con- 
tradict the Scriptnres. The only possible supposition 
is that they were imputed to him as the Federal Head 
and Representative of his. people. Now, to bring this 
argument to the conclusion contemplated, we have 
the authority of the apostle Paul for holding that in 
the same way in which Christ was made sin for his 
people they are made righteousness in him: " For he 
hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, 
that we might be made the righteousness of God in 
him."' Was he made sin for them by imputation? 
Even so, by imputation are they made righteousness 
in him. He could not have been condemned and 
have died judicially unless their guilt had been im- 
puted to him; they cannot be justified and live unless 
his righteousness is imputed to them. 

In the passage just cited from vSecond Corinthians 
believers are said to be "made the righteousness of 
God" in Christ. The same truth, substantially, is 
declared in First Corinthians,- and in '^uch a connec- 
tion as to render it clear that Christ is made right- 
eousness to believers by imputation: " But of him are 
ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wis- 
dom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and re- 
demption." Now, in the first place, the righteousness 
here spoken of cannot possibly mean a sanctifying 
righteousness which is inherent, for it is expressly 
contradistinguished to sanctification. But there are 
only two kinds of righteousness, namely, inherent, 
which is infused into the soul, and imputed, which is 
reckoned to the soul. As the righteousness here men- 
tioned is certainU' not inherent, it must be imputed. 

^ 2 Cor. V. 21. •^ Ch. i. 30. 

500 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

In the second place, Christ is here declared to be made 
of God righteousness to us. The righteousness is in 
some sense made our own. As before shown, it can- 
not be God's essential righteousness, nor his rectoral, 
nor his method of justification, for they cannot be 
said to be made ours, as wisdom and holiness and re- 
demption are said to be made ours. It may be urged 
that he is made righteousness to us, because he justi- 
fies us, just as he is made sanctification to us because 
he sanctifies us, and redemption to us because he re- 
deems us. To this it is obvious to reply that a dis- 
tinction must be observed betw^een justification, sanc- 
tification and redemption as divine acts and works on 
the one hand, and the fruits of those divine acts and 
works on the other. Now, it is clear that Christ is 
not made to us, nor are we constituted in him those 
acts and works. We experience their results. In 
Christ we are made wise, righteous, holy, and subjects 
of redemption. What other meaning can attach to 
this righteousness, but that, since it cannot be holi- 
ness, it is a federal, representative, putative righteous- 
ness — in other words, Christ's righteousness imputed 
to us for justification ? The only remaining supposi- 
tion is that as faith, according to the Arminian, is 
justifying righteousness, Christ is made to us faith. 
It is not necessary to consider such a supposition, as 
it is manifestly absurd. 

Of the same import is the glorious testimony in 
Jeremiah: "This is his name, whereby he shall be 
called. The Lord our Righteousness." Christ is our 
righteousness. How so, according to the Arminian ? 
By faith, he answers. But if one, by a conscious act 
of faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, how 

The Nature of Justification. 501 

does that make the righteousness his? Because, he 
may reply, it was wrought for him. But hold! All 
that he gets by faith is confessedly only the benefit 
of Christ's righteousness, not the righteousness itself 
That is Christ's, not his. It cannot be his, for, as he 
strenuously argues, one cannot have what is another's. 
How then can it be his? He is right in saying it 
cannot be consciously and subjectively his. There is 
only one other way in which it can be his — by impu- 
tation. That is vehemently rejected. Is it not plain 
that, on the Arminian doctrine, Christ's righteousness 
cannot be ours? But this grand text affirms it is 
ours. Faith cannot make it ours, unless God gives it 
to faith, and he gives it precisely by imputing it. It 
becomes ours in no other way. Further, the Armin- 
ian contends that the righteousness which is our own 
is the righteousness of faith. It is one which is con- 
sciously ours, and imputed to us as ours. Faith then 
is our justifying righteousness, but at the same time 
Christ's righteousness is the ground upon which our 
faith relies for justification. Here then are two justi- 
fying righteousnesses — one in us relying upon another 
out of us ! According to Scripture, there is but one — 
"the Lord our righteousness." And further still, if 
faith be imputed to us as righteousness, not unto 
righteousness, and yet it is acknowledged that Christ 
is our righteousness, is Christ our faith? If this ex- 
travagance is disowned, then there is a righteousness 
which is our own besides faith, but that is denied. 
The only way out of these difficulties is to confess — 
what is true — that faith is no righteousnes at all; that 
there is but one justifying righteousness, namely, 
Christ's righteousness, and that becomes ours by ini- 

502 Calvinism and Evangelical Aruiiiiianisni. 

putation. Being united to Christ we have him, and 
in having him we have his legal and representative 
righteousness which God imputes to us as ours. 
Thus is he Jehovah our Righteousness. 

In Rom. iv. 6, Paul says, ''Even as David also de- 
scribeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God 
imputeth righteousness without works." It is not 
now designed to consider minutely this passage, as it 
will fall to be discussed under the head of the Condition 
of Justification, but it cannot here be overlooked inas- 
much as the terms imputeth righteousness occur in 
it, and the question in hand is whether Christ's right- 
eousness is imputed. It will not be disputed that God 
imputes righteousness, for the apostle uses the very 
words. Now the question is, What is righteousness? 
It is the being and doing what is right or just. It is 
conformity to the standard of God's law. This sup- 
poses works — a term employed to signify both the 
state of mind and the conduct of the moral agent. 
There can be no righteousness which does not consist 
of works. To say that a man is righteous who, in no 
sense, possesses a righteousness of works, would be to 
say that he is altogether unrighteous and yet right- 
eous at one and the same time. When, therefore, 
the apostle says that God imputeth righteousness, he 
must mean that he imputeth righteousness consisting 
of works. But he also says that God imputeth right- 
eousness without works. This would involve a flat 
contradiction, were it not true that God may impute 
a righteousness of v/orks which }et is without works. 
There is no contradiction, but a great truth, asserted 
in this passage, if God may impute the righteousness 
Iconsisting of another's works to one who has no right- 

The Nature of JnsHficathm. 5^3 

eousness comprising liis own works. And this is just 
what Paul savs. The sinner is without works: he 
has no righteousness of his own. But God imputes 
to him the righteousness of Christ consisting of his 
works which he did in obedience to the law in the 
room of the sinner as his representative and sponsor 
before the divine tribunal. It is a vicarious right- 
eousness of works, entirely independent of the con- 
scious works of the sinner, which is imputed for justi- 
fication. To take the ground that faith is the right- 
eousness without works which God imputes for justi- 
fication, is to affirm that God imputes that which is 
at the same time a righteousness and not a righteous- 
ness. The righteousness of another being excluded, 
the affirmation is confined to one's conscious right- 
eousness, and to say that a conscious righteousness is 
imputed to him which is yet without works would be 
a contradiction in terms. Faith, then, cannot be the 
imputed righteousness intended by the apostle: it is 
the real righteousness of Jesus' works which is im- 
puted for justification, in the utter absence of all works 
of his own by which the sinner might hope to be just- 
ified. This righteousness faith receives, and so faith 
is imputed as the sinners act performed unto the at- 
tainment of W\^ righteousness of another which God 
imputes as the sole ground of justification. It will be 
said that this concedes two imputations. Suppose it 
does, the first would be the imputation of the sinnef s 
own^act, by which he confesses he has no righteous- 
ness, and simply receives another's righteousness, and 
that such an act should be imputed as righteousness 
would be absurd; and the imputation of the righteous- 
ness received, the only righteousness the^ Scripture 
ever mentions in connection with justification. 

504 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

In Phil. iii. 9, Paul speaks of *'the righteousness 
which is of God by faith." It is evident that a right- 
eousness which is of God bv faith cannot be a rieht- 
eousness which is of faith — that is, faith as a riehteous- 
ness. It is a righteousness which comes by means of 
faith, a righteousness from God and received by faith, 
by faith in Christ. It is the righteousness of Christ 
which God imputes to the believing sinner. If faith 
be the righteousness imputed, then faith is imputed 
to faith. Surely faith does not come by faith. 

.The only other passage which will be appealed to, 
and it is decisive, is Rom. v. 17, 18, 19: "For if by 
one man's offence death reigned by one; much more 
they which receive abundance of grace, and of the 
gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus 
Christ. Therefore, as by the offence of one,judgment 
came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the 
righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men 
unto justification of life. For as by one man's dis- 
obedience many were made sinners, so by the obe- 
dience of one shall many be made righteous." The 
One whose righteousness is spoken of is expressly de- 
clared to be Jesus Christ. Now this righteousness of 
One is defined to be the obedience of One. Putting 
these expressions together we have the Righteousness 
of Jesus Christ or the obedience of Jesus Christ. Yet 
Arminians afiirm that the words righteousness of 
Christ are not found in Scripture. Let this passage re- 
refute the allegation. This righteousness or obedience 
of one, even Jesus Christ, is declared to be a gift, a free 
gift, that is, it is bestowed upon sinners without any 
desert on their part. A gift is something transferred 
from one to. another. The righteousness of Christ, 

The Nature of JustiJicatioJi. 505 

therefore, is transferred from God to the sinner, and be- 
ins: received bv the sinner becomes his own. Havinof 
no riehteousness of his own, he receives another's 
righteousness which God gives him, and which con- 
sequently becomes his own; his own, not by original 
possession, nor by his working for it, but by a trans- 
fer which holds in law. It is legally reckoned to his 
account: it is imputed to him. One man makes over 
a piece of property to another upon no consideration 
of value received. It is a free gift. But the transfer 
is legally executed by the donor so as to assure the 
possession of the property to the recipient. It was 
not his, but it becomes his and is reckoned to him in 
law. Why press the matter? The apostle's teaching 
is as plain as day. The righteousness or obedience 
of Jesus Christ is accounted, reckoned, imputed as 
the ground of justification, as the disobedience of 
Adam was accounted, reckoned, imputed as the 
ground of condemnation.^ 

These considerations derived from the Scriptures 
establish the doctrine that Christ's vicarious right- 
eousness is imputed to the believer unto justification. 
It is hardly worth while to reiterate the answer 
which has so often been given to the objection that 
the imputation of one's guilt or righteousness to 
another involves what is impossible — the transfer of- 
moral character, the infusion of one's consciousness 
into another. The imputation of legal responsibility 
is not the impartation of subjective moral qualities. 

^It may here be quibbled, that if Christ's righteousness is given 
by imputation to the sinner, Christ loses it himself. It is a suffi- 
cient answer to ask, when God gives life to a dead sinner, does 
God lose it himself? The term transfer is used under limitation. 

5o6 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

The distinction is stamped upon the wdiole Word of 
God, and to den\- it is to reject the way of salvation 
revealed in that Word. To say that guilt and legal 
righteousness, demerit and merit, are imputable, is 
one thing; it would be quite another to say that con- 
scious turpitude or conscious holiness may be imputed. 
If the legal righteousness of Jesus is not accounted 
ours in God's court, the sanctifvinor riofhteousness of 
Jesus, infused by his Spirit, will never fit us for God's 
fellowship. Imputation may, it is true, be abused by 
Antinomians; it is equally true that Infusion may ];e 
abused by Legalists. It is a poor argument against 
any scriptural truth, or any other kind of truth, that 
it is liable to abuse. It is the resort of the partisan. 
"It is objected," says Dr. Charles Hodge, "tliat the 
transfer of guilt and righteousness, involved in the 
Church doctrine of satisfaction, is impossible. The 
transfer of guilt or righteousness, as states of con- 
sciousness or forms of moral character, is indeed im- 
possible. But the transfer of guilt as responsibility to 
justice, and of righteousness as that wdiich satisfies 
justice, is no more impossible than that one man 
should pay the debt of another. All that the Bible 
teaches on this subject is that Christ paid, as a substi- 
tute, our debt to the justice of God." 

x\s the div-ine law may be regarded in two aspects, 
both as to its preceptive requirements and as to its 
penalty, the question arises whether the vicarious 
righteousness of Christ included obedience to it in 
both these relations. If only the penalty was endured, 
tlie Arminian conception of the nature of justification 
as consisting in pardon would seem to be defensible; 
^Syst. Theol.y vol. ii. p. 540, 

The Nature of Justification. 507 

if not, if the whole law was vicariously obeyed it is 
seen to be too narrow. Some Evangelical Arniinian 
theologians — Wesley, for example — admit that the 
scope of Christ's obedience included what he did as 
well as what he suffered, that is, as the phrase goes, 
his active and his passive obedience. In this they are 
not consistent. For, If on the ground of Christ's 
obedience to the penal requirement of the law the be- 
liever is pardoned, it would follow that on the ground 
of his obedience to its preceptive requirements, the 
believer is entitled to everlasting life. Without paus- 
ing further to signalize this incongruity, we may go 
on to consider the question, whether if Christ's right- 
eousness is imputed to the believer, as has been 
shown, his obedience to the precept of the law is im- 
puted to him. This is usually denominated his active 
obedience. The term active^ as dififerentiating, is ill- 
chosen, for Christ was active in suffering the penalty, 
and suffered while he obeyed the precept. Let it be 
understood that by his active and passive obedience is 
meant his preceptive and penal obedience, terms 
which, although not in current use, more precisely 
than any others express the distinction between the 
two aspects of his righteousness answering to the two 
aspects of the law, preceptive and penal. That 
Christ's obedience to the precept of the law is im- 
puted for justification will appear from the following 

First, Without the imputation to us of Christ's 
active obedience, the most that could be supposed is 
that we would be simply pardoned in consequence of 
the imputation to us of his passive obedience. The 
hypothesis is, that being fully pardoned we would be 

5o8 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

innocent. We would be restored to the condition of 
Adam at creation, with liability to fall, according to 
the Arminian, with the addition of beino; confirmed 
in innocence, according to the Calvinist. All that 
could be affirmed of us is that we would be without 
guilt. As, however, Adam was not justified on ac- 
count of his innocence, but God required perfect, per- 
sonal obedience to the preceptive requirements of the 
law, in order to his being justified, so would it be with 
us. We would be uncondemned, but not justified. 
There would be no basis of justification. It will in 
in the sequel be shown that the supposition of pardon 
without a full obedience to law is impossible. 

Secondly, If it be said that the analogy, in this 
matter, is not between ourselves and Adam, but be- 
tween CliTist and Adam, it is replied : It is admitted 
that the analogy holds originally and principally be- 
tween Christ and Adam. What, then, would cer- 
tainly follow in regard to Christ? This, in the first 
place, that as Adam could not have been justified 
without obedience to the precept of the law, so 
neither could Christ ; and if Christ could not have 
been justified, no sinner could be justified in him, and 
thus the gates of hope would be closed against a 
guilty and despairing world. In the second place, as 
Adam's obedience to the preceptive requirements of 
the law would precisely have constituted, had he 
stood, that righteousness which w^ould have been im- 
puted to his seed in order to justification, so Christ's 
active obedience must be imputed \o his seed in order 
that they may be justified. The analogy, therefore, 
wdiich is conceded to obtain between Christ and 
Adam, itself renders it necessary to hold that Christ 

The Nature of Justification. 509 

wrought out active obedieuce for his seed, and that 
that obedience is imputed to them in order to their 
justification, as well as his passive obedience. 

Thirdly, The same result is brought out clearly, if 
we more particularly contemplate the covenant of 
works in respect to its condition. It has been in the 
course of these remarks proved that God entered into 
a covenant of works with Adam, and that he also 
formed a covenant with Christ looking to the redemp- 
tion of sinners. The latter is called the covenant of 
grace, because it had its origin in grace and so far as 
sinners, not Christ, are concerned, is executed by 
grace, and the covenant of redemption, because it con- 
templated redemption as its end. It was a covenant 
of grace and redemption to us sinners, but not to 
Christ: he stood in no need of redeeming grace. To 
him it was a covenant of works, in which he engaged 
to fulfil the law on behalf of his seed. The covenant 
of works with Adam failed, and the legal probation 
of man came, with the failure of that covenant, to a 
ruinous termination. Christ, as the second Adam, a 
second Federal Head and Legal Representative, was, 
on the supposition of his voluntary susception of the 
enterprise of Redemption at the call of the Father, 
under the necessity of doing what the first Adam had 
failed to do, and also of satisfying justice for the 
breach of the covenant of works by enduring the 
penalty of the law. To those who are so blind as not 
to see a revelation in the Scriptures of God's cove- 
nant dealings with man, no argument touching this 
matter would be convincing; to those who do see the 
federal form of God's government of the human race, 
areument would be needless. 

5IO Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

Adam broke down in fulfilling the condition of the 
covenant of works in order to justification, and Christ 
performed it. What w^as the condition? Perfect, 
personal obedience, for a time, to the preceptive re- 
quirements of the law. Christ, therefore, was under 
obligation to render perfect, personal obedience to the 
law; and as the performance of the condition in the 
case of Adam would have grounded the justification 
of his posterity, so its performance in the case of 
Christ grounded, in part, the justification of his peo- 
ple. Now, why did Christ render obedience to the 
commands of the law? For himself alone? Surely 
not, but also for his seed. If, then, he acted as their 
representative in yielding obedience to the precept, 
they rendered that obedience in him. Where, then, 
is the difficulty of its being imputed to them? Is 
there any greater difficulty in the way of its being im- 
puted to them than in the way of his passive obedi- 
ence being imputed to them? Allow that Christ 
acted as the representative of his people, both in obey- 
ing the precept and in suffering the penalty of the 
law, and there exists as much reason for the imputa- 
tion of one sort of righteousness as of the other. 

This reasoning must be regarded as conclusive, un- 
less it can be shown that the imputation of Christ's 
passive obedience destroys the n.ecessity or the reason- 
ableness of the imputation of his active. It may be 
said that such a result follows from the supposition, 
made by the Calvinist, that the endurance of the 
penalty of the law in the room of the elect secures for 
them an eternal pardon. On the admission that his 
passive righteousness is imputed to his seed, there is 
a perfect non-imputation to them of all their guilt, 

The Naiu]\' of Juslification. 5 r i 

and consequently a perfect and eternal exemption 
from all the effects of that guilt. They must stand 
forever acquitted. Where, then, is the need or the 
place for the imputation of his active righteousness? 
To this the answer may be returned : It is true that 
the endurance of the penalty by Christ as the repre- 
sentative of the elect secures for them a full and eter- 
nal pardon. But there is a mistake in considering 
iJiat all the elect require. They need a right and 
title to life eternal ; and mere pardon, were it possible 
to the sinner without a vicarious obedience to the 
precept of the law, would secure them only a right 
and title to exemption from punishment. To be par- 
doned is to be free from God's curse, but not to be 
put in possession of his favor. The soul would be 
uncurst, but not necessarily blest. The distinction 
must be taken between the negative and the positive 
results of righteousness : between a righteousness 
which secures exemption from wrath and one which 
merits a title to bliss. The imputation of Christ's 
passive obedience is the imputation of a righteousness 
wdiich involves negative results. The possession of 
positive blessings can only accrue from the imputa- 
tion of his active obedience. That positively entitles 
to a life which is vastly more than freedom from pun- 
ishment. The positive communications of God's 
favor and loving-kindness are something more than 
his sentence which delivers from wrath. To those 
expressions of his love only an obedience to the pre- 
cepts of his law can entitle the subjects of his gov- 
ernment; and as Christ v perfectly furnished such an 
obedience for his elect people, they become, in conse- 
quence of their union with him, entitled to them. 

512 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianisjn. 

They have, though ijt themselves worthless, a right in 
Christ to positive fellowship with God and the tokens 
of his love. In him they have fully obeyed the law 
in both of its essential elements — the precept and the 
penalty ; and will, therefore, ultimately enjoy that 
complete and positive happiness which only such an 
obedience can acquire. Such results mere pardon 
could never secure. Not being in hell is a different 
thingr from beino; in heaven. It is the difference be- 
tween a negative and a positive happiness, a differ- 
ence which corresponds with, and, in the case of the 
sinner, depends upon the difference between a precep- 
tive and a penal righteousness, as imputed in order to 
justification. In the use of this distinction it is not 
implied that Christ in enduring the penalty did not 
also actively obey the law, but only that in conse- 
quence of the imputation of his passive righteousness 
to the sinner, the sinner becomes entitled to exemp- 
tion from positive suffering of a penal nature. 

Fourthly," If it be said, as has been done, to be in- 
conceivable that the conscious, personal obedience of 
Jesus to the precepts of the law could be imputed to 
the believer, it may be replied: In the first place, no 
Calvinist takes the ground that the personal, subjec- 
tive character of Jesus is transferred to the believer 
for justification, any more than that his conscious suf- 
ferings are transferred to him. But if it be admitted 
that his merit is imputed to the believer as having 
constructively and representatively done and suffered 
in his great Substitute what that Substitute did and 
suffered, it is no more inconceivable that the merit of 
his active obedience should be imputed than that of 
his passive. In both cases Christ obeyed the will of 

The Nature of Justification. 513 

his Father administering law, and if his active obe- 
dience is not inipnted, only a part of his obedience is 
reckoned to the account of the believer. In the sec- 
ond place, the division which the objection supposes 
to be made between the obedience of Christ to the 
precepts of the law, and his suffering and dying under 
the curse oi the law, proceeds upon the unscriptural 
hypothesis that the Saviour in suffering and dying 
did not obey the law. But the truth is that he was a 
doer of the law, an intense actor of obedience to its 
demands, in the whole progress of his passion; and if 
he obeyed in suffering and dying, the objection to the 
imputation of his personal obedience would sweep 
away the imputation of his suffering and dying, and 
so there would remain no imputation of his obedience 
whatsoever, and the Pelagian and Socinian doctrine 
would be sustained. 

Fifthly, Let us return to the parallelism between 
the first and the second Adam. If Adam had main- 
tained his integrity during the period of his probation 
he would have been justified on account of his obe- 
dience to the precepts of the law. No obedience to 
the penalty would have been possible in his case. 
Now his seed would have been justified in and with 
him on the ground of his righteousness imputed to 
them, just as they are condemned on the ground of 
his guilt imputed to them. What kind of righteous- 
ness, then, would have been imputed to Adam's 
posterity? IManifestly, an active righteousness — his 
obedience to the precept. This would have been the 
only sort of righteousness which could have been im- 
puted to them. The possibility of the imputation of 
active righteousness is thus conclusively evinced. It 

514 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

follows that the same possiblility exists in regard to 
the imputation of the active righteousness of Christ 
the second Adam. 

Should it be urged that this argument only goes to 
show the possibility of such an imputation, and not 
its necessity or its actuality, the answer is: In the first 
place, the necessity of the imputation of Christ's 
active righteousness to his seed flows from the divinely 
taught analogy between the federal representation of 
the first and the second Adam, If the active obedi- 
ence of Christ be not imputed to the elect, the corre- 
spondence between the two federal heads and the 
results of their respective representative acts would be 
destroyed. In the second place, the necessity of the 
imputation of Christ's active righteousness is grounded 
in the inexorable demand of divine justice for a per- 
fect obedience to the law, that is to sa}', a perfect 
righteousness. The law must be obeyed as to its pre- 
cepts, or there can be no justification. Now it is 
plain that the believing sinner can furnish no con- 
scious, personal obedience to the precepts of the law. 
The only possible way in which he can furnish obedi- 
ence to the law in this relation, is by presenting that 
of Christ his Substitute. But the only method by 
which Christ's obedience to the precepts of the law 
can become his is that it be imputed to him. Hence 
the necessity of the imputation of the active obedience 
of the Second Adam to his believing seed. The law, 
proceeding upon the principle of distributive justice, 
must have obedience to its commands, and the be- 
liever meets the imperative necessity by bringing 
Christ's to the bar. 

Sixthly, The objection to the imputation of Christ's 

The Nature of Justification 515 

active righteousness is founded upon the supposition 
that in producing that righteousness he did not act as 
a federal head and representative of his people. He 
simply obeyed the preceptive requirements of the law 
for himself. He only acted as federal head and repre- 
sentative in suffering and dying. This view cannot 
be sustained. From the moment that he consciously 
rendered obedience to law, he not only rendered it as 
an individual but as a public person who had assumed, 
under covenant with God the Father, the responsibil- 
ities of his elect seed: he not only furnished indi- 
vidual but federal obedience. If this be so, it follows 
that his active righteousness, having been wrought 
for his seed, becomes actually theirs by virtue of its 
bein_g imputed to him. Admit that it was federal, 
and you admit the fact of its imputation. To take 
any other view is to make his active obedience merely 
exemplary (and that only in part), so far as it is related 
to us, and then the passage is easy, and for aught that 
appears logical, to the Socinian dream that his suffer- 
ings were not expiatory but only designed to teach by 
a patient and heroic example. 

In discussing Piscator's denial of the imputation of 
Christ's active righteousness, Dr. Charles Hodge well 
and truly says: "He argues that Christ's obedience to 
the law was due from himself as a man, and therefore 
not imputable to others . . . every man as sucli, in 
virtue of being a man, is individually bound to obey 
the moral law. Christ was a man; therefore he was 
bound to obey the law for himself He did not per- 
ceive, or was not willing to admit, tliat the word 
'man' is taken in different senses in the different 
members of this svllogism, and therefore the conclu- 

5i6 Calvinism ajid Evangelical Ar)}iinianis7n. 

sioii is vitiated. In the first clause, ' man ' means a 
Luman person ; in the second clause it means human 
nature. Christ was not a human person, although he 
assumed human nature. He was a man in the sense 
in which we are dust and ashes. But because we are 
dust, it does not follow that all that may be predicated 
of dust may be predicated of us; e. g.^ that we have 
no life, no reason, no immortality . . . Piscator also 
argues that the law binds either to punishment or to 
obedience, but not to both at once. Therefore, if 
Christ's obedience is imputed to us, there was no 
necessity that he should die for us. On the other 
hand, if he died for us, there was no necessity that he 
should obey for us. The principle here assumed may 
be true with regard to unfallen man. But where sin 
has been committed there is need of expiation as well 
as of obedience, and of obedience as well as expiation, 
if the reward of perfect obedience is to be conferred." ' 
It is also argued, in more modern times, that much 
of what Christ did was of such a nature that it is im- 
possible that it could be imputed to us, the working 
of miracles, for example, and other acts of ]\Iediatorial 
power. What an argument! The conclusion is from 
some to all: because some of his acts were not imput- 
able, therefore all were not! The statement of the 
aroument is its refutation. And if it be meant that 
no act of Christ could be imputed which man might 
not, supposing he were holy, have consciously per- 
formed; in other words that finiteness in the acts was 
the measure of their imputability, that would prove 
vastly too much: it would sweep away the imputa- 
bility of the merit of Christ's death itself, for, as- 
^ Syst. TheoL, vol. iii, p. 148. 


The Nature of Justification. 517 

suredly, no man could have died liis death and lived 
again. The great principle is overlooked that we may 
be accounted to have done federally and representa- 
tively in a divine-human Substitute what it were 
madness to suppose that we could have done con- 
sciously and personally. No man could have rendered 
an infinitely meritorious obedience to God's law, could 
have offered an infinitely meritorious sacrifice in sat- 
isfactiou to his justice, but it is a cause for devoutest 
thankso:ivinor that the merit of such an obedience and 
such a sacrifice is imputable to us. 

Seventhly, It is unwarrantable to effect a divorce, 
as this objection to the imputability of Christ's active 
obedience does, between the two elements of the 
Saviour's righteousness, in relation to the precept and 
to the penalty of the law. The scriptural view is that 
he obeyed while suffering and suffered while obeying. 
The life of our q:lorious Redeemer was one of suffer- 
ing, his death one of obedience. His suffering obe- 
dience was active, his active was a suffering obedience. 
From Nazareth to Calvary he learned obedience by 
the things which he suffered. Like his seamless 
robe, his righteousness is one. We should not rend 
it, but by faith taking it as it is, in its wondrous and 
indivisible totality, dress ourselves in it for the ban- 
quet of the Lamb. It is not intended to deny that 
the righteousness of Christ has two aspects,- active and 
passive. It has, but the Scriptures ordinarily speak 
of his righteousness as one, culminating in his suffer- 
ings and death, which are dwelt upon and signalized 
as the climax and crown of his obedience. The dis- 
tinction adverted to deserves to be asserted and main- 
tained when it is denied that Christ's righteousness 
as active may be imputed. 

5i8 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianism. 

To all this the following objection may be urged: 
Depravity is the judicial consequence of imputed 
guilt. If, then, the guilt be removed by pardon, the 
depravity is also removed: the cause gone, the effect 
goes with it. If, consequently, Christ secured pardon 
of our guilt, he secures, ipso facto^ the extirpation of 
depravity. But depravity being taken away, the 
necessary activity of the soul could only develop in 
the direction of holiness; and as the soul w^ould by 
the imputation of Christ's passive obedience be con- 
firmed in innocence, it would be forever delivered 
from the conting-encv of sinning;. 

The case supposed is impossible, namely, that the 
sinner can be pardoned simply because of Christ's ful- 
filment of the penalty of the law. If this can be 
shown, the consequence derived from the supposition 
made — that there is no need of the imputation of 
Christ's active righteousness — will be disproved. It is 
of vital importance to consider that pardon cannot be 
extended to the sinner, consistently with the divine 
perfections, except upon the ground of a full and per- 
fect satisfaction rendered to justice. This may be 
assumed, as it is acknowledged by the best Evangel- 
ical Arminian theologians, who upon this point are 
more scriptural than those of the Remonstrant school. 
Such a satisfaction would include perfect obedience 
to the whole law, both in its precept and its penalty. 
To suppose a satisfaction rendered to justice only by 
the endurance of the penalty would be to suppose an 
incomplete satisfaction, with which the demands of 
justice could not consist. The mistake upon which 
the objection is founded is that the suffering of the 
penalty would be a competent satisfaction to justice. 

The Nature of Justification. 519 

Let lis conceive that Clirist in suffering and dying 
as a substitute merely underwent the penalty of the 
broken law. The demand of the law for a perfect 
fulfilment of its claims would not have been met. 
This, however, for reasons already stated, is incon- 
ceivable, for in suffering and dying Christ not only 
complied with the requirement of the law, but cor- 
dially obeyed the law itself. He honored the precept 
in honoring the penalty. There are two considera- 
tions which make this apparent. In the first place, 
the precept of the law requires perfect piety and per- 
fect philanthropy: a love to God which is supreme, 
and a love to man which is like that one bears to him- 
self. Viewing Christ simply as a legal substitute, this 
perfect, hearty love to God and man was required 
from him, and actually yielded by him, when he en- 
dured the penalty of the law by vicariously suffering 
and dying. The agony of the Cross was the highest 
expression which even he could give of spontaneous, 
affectionate obedience to that infinite law which is 
holy, just and good. The tragedy of Calvary was no 
mechanical execution. Having in the eternal cove- 
nant cheerfully consented to become the dying Sub- 
stitute of the gnilty, the bloody sweat of the garden, 
the tears, spittle and gore, the desertion and loneli- 
ness, and the experience of unmitigated wrath, of the 
accursed tree, occasioned no abatement of that un- 
forced purpose, induced no faltering in its execution. 
He obeyed the law from the heart: he magnified it 
and made it honorable in the eyes of the universe in 
the very highest possible degree. In the second place, 
these views are enhanced when we contemplate him 
not merely as a legal Substitute, but as a Priest. It 

520 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

is the specific office of a priest to offer worship for the 
guilty through sacrifice. Jesns offered worship for 
the guilty through the bloody sacrifice of himself. 
He was the victim offered, and he the officiating Priest. 
His death, voluntarily undergone, was an act of sub- 
limest worship to God, with which the praises of an 
innumerable company of angels and of a countless 
assemblage of worlds could bear no comparison. It 
was the homage of an Incarnate God to Justice and 
Law. It needs no words to show that as sincere wor- 
ship involves the affections of the heart, and as Jesus, 
the God-man, worshiped God by the sacrifice of him- 
self to justice in the room of the guilty, he rendered 
in dying a free and affectionate obedience to the pre- 
cept wdiich requires perfect love to God and man. 
Subjection to the penalty was due from sinners, obe- 
dience to it on his part was the free suggestion of his 
love to God and his pity for man. Christ, in dying, 
obeyed both the precept and the penalty of the law. 
The fact is, that his obedience cannot, except logi- 
cally, be divided. It is one and indivisible. The 
law of God, although capable of being regarded in its 
preceptive and penal aspects, is really one, and the 
righteousness of Christ, though susceptible of being 
considered in specific relation to these aspects of the 
law, is characterized by a corresponding unity. Par- 
don, therefore, was not acquired for the guilty simply 
by Christ's endurance of the penalty of the law; it is 
the result of his whole obedience, to both the precept 
and the penalty. It is incompetent to speak of mere 
pardon, and the consequences which would flow from 
it. The obedience of Jesus, as a whole, was a full 
satisfaction to justice in the room of those whom he 

The Nature of Justification. 521 

represented, and it follows that believers are justified 
completely in him: not merely absolved from guilt, 
but also invested with a right and title in him to an 
indefectible life. His obedience, as representative, 
could have earned no less a reward. 

If against this view the old difficulty be presented, 
that if justification, embracing pardon and a title to 
eternal life, is imparted in consequence of a perfect 
satisfaction to justice, it is the award of justice and 
not a gift of grace, the old answer is obvious : that as 
God, to whom the satisfaction is due, himself ren- 
dered it in the person of his incarnate Son, the whole 
case is one of free grace. The satisfaction itself, as 
conditioning pardon and eternal life, was the fruit of 
grace, and so, consequently, are the pardon and eter- 
nal life conditioned by it. 

It has thus been shown that Christ was a Federal 
Representative ; that his Righteousness or Vicarious 
Obedience is imputed to those whom he represented ; 
that his righteousness as a whole, active and passive, 
is imputed, as the sole ground of their justification ; 
and that, therefore, justification cannot, as the Evan- 
gelical Arminian theology affirms, consist in mere 
pardon, inestimable as that benefit is, but involves 
both pardon and a right and title in Christ to eternal 
life — to confirmation in holiness and happiness for- 



The third and last general division of the sub- 
ject now conies np for consideration : The Conditioji 
or Instrumental Cause of Justification. 

The question here does not relate to the nature of 
faith in general. There is sufficient agreement in the 
view that faith comprises in its unity the assent of 
the understanding, the trust of the heart and the con- 
sent of the will, when not only is abstract truth con- 
templated, but personal relations and interests are 
involved. Nor is the question whether faith condi- 
tions justification. Upon that point Calvinists and 
Evangelical Arminians are in accord. Whether the 
latter invariably and consistently contend that faith 
is the sole condition or instrumental cause of justifica- 
tion may be made a question. It will not, however, 
be now considered. The questions that here claim 
attention are: What is justifying faith? and What is 
the office which faith discharges in relation to justifi- 
cation? These questions are really distinct, but as 
we shall see, they practically coalesce in the Evangel- 
ical Arminian theology : at least the answer to one 
largely determines the answer to the other. 

The Calvinistic reply to these questions may be 
given with sufficient definiteness in the terms of the 


The Condition of Justification. 523 

Westminster Standards. Speaking- of the way in 
which God justifies those whom he efFectually calls, 
the Confession of Faith says, among other negative 
assertions: "Not by imputing faith itself, the act of 
believing, or any other evangelical obedience, to 
them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the 
obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they 
receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness 
by faith ; which faith they have not of themselves, it 
is the gift of God. 

"Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and 
His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justifica- 
tion; yet it is not alone in the person justified,' but is 
ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is 
no dead faith, but worketh by love. "'^ 

The Larger Catechism gives this answer to the 
question, "What is justifying faith?" — "Justifying 
faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sin- 
ner, by the Spirit and word of God ; whereby he, 
being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the 
disability in himself and all other creatures to recover 
him out of his lost condition, not only assenteth to 
the truth of the promise of the gospel, but receiveth 
and resteth upon Christ and His righteousness therein 
held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting 
and accounting of his person righteous in the sight 
of God for salvation."^ 

It thus answers the question, " How doth feith jus- 
tify a sinner in the sight of God?" — "Faith justifies 
a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those 
other graces which do always accompany it, or of 

"^ Sola non solitaria. ^ Ch. xi., sees, i, and ii. 

^Questions, 72, 73. 

524 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

good works that are the fruits of it ; nor as if the 
grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to 
him for justification ; but only as it is an instrument, 
by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and His 

The following citations are made from Evangelical 
Arminian authors of recognized standing. 

"By 'the righteousness which is of faith,'" says 
Mr. Wesley, "is meant that condition of justification 
(and in consequence [consequently] of present and 
final salvation, if w^e endure therein unto the end) 
which was given by God to fallen inan^ through the 
merits and mediation of his only begotten Son."^ 
He also says: "Now it w^as not written for his sake 
alone, that it (/. ^. , faith) was imputed to him; but 
for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (to whom 
faith shall be imputed for righteousness), shall stand 
instead of perfect obedience, in order to our accept- 
ance with God."^ "Faith, therefore, is the neces- 
sary condition of justification.^ Yea, and the only 
necessary condition thereof This is the second point 
carefully to be observed ; that the very moment God 
giveth faith (for it is the gift of God) to the 'un- 
godly, that worketh not,' that 'faith is counted to him 
for righteousness.' He hath no righteousness at all 
antecedent to this, not so much as negative righteous- 
ness, or innocence. But 'faith is imputed to him for 
righteousness' the very moment that he believeth. 
Not that God (as was observed before) thinketh him 
to be what he is not. But as 'he made Christ to be a 
sin offering for us,' that is, treated him as a sinner, 

^ Questions, 72, 73. 

' Serm. on The Righteousness of Faith. 

^ How then are the heathen salvable ? 

The Condition of Jnstification. 525 

punished him for our sins ; so he counteth us ri^^ht- 
eous, from the time we believe in him ; that is, he 
doth not punish us for our sins, yea, treats us as 
though we were guiltless and righteous." ' 

In the first place, notice that Mr. Wesley asserts 
the righteousness of faith to be the condition of justifi- 
cation. Now either this is a righteousness inherent 
in faith, or imputed to faith, or neither. If inherent 
in faith, our inherent righteousness is the condition 
of justification, which is utterly unscriptural; if im- 
puted to faith, the Calvinistic position is conceded; if 
neither inherent in faith, nor imputed to faith, there 
is no righteousness which is of faith, none which it 
can claim, no righteousness which is ours. To say 
that faith relies upon it, is not enough. Jesus would 
not be the Lord our righteousness. His righteousness 
would be somethinor foreiorn to us on which we de- 
pend. To say that faith appropriates it is to say that 
it makes it its own. Its own how? By inherence 
or by imputation? In no other than one of these two 
ways can it become our own by faith. If, as I\Ir. 
Wesley says, God gives it to us — then how? Does he 
make it inherent in ns by his gift, or does he impute 
it to us as his gift? Either inherent or imputed this 
righteousness must be ; and each of these suppositions 
is damaging to the Arminian doctrine. 

In the second place, observe that Mr. W^esley says, 
this faith "shall stand instead of perfect obedience." 
Faith, then, is not perfect obedience, it only stands 
instead of it. But if it stands instead of it, it dis- 
charges the office of perfect obedience. The believer 
is accepted as if he had perfectly obeyed: his faith 
^ Serin, on Justification by Faith. 

526 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

justifies in the stead of a perfect obedience which 
would justify him, but is wanting. But how faith 
can be reputed to have the value of perfect obedience 
and discharge the office it would perform if possessed, 
and yet faith relies upon the perfect obedience of 
Christ for justification which nevertheless is not im- 
puted to the believer, this is what Mr. Wesley does 
not explain, and could not have explained. What is 
now emphasized is that the great founder of Evangel- 
ical x\rminianism expressly declared that faith is im- 
puted for righteousness in the sense that it stands 
instead of perfect obedience. 

In the third place, Mr. Wesley misses an obvious 
and necessary distinction, and is consequently be- 
trayed into confusion of thought, when he remarks 
that in imputing faith for righteousness God does not 
think the sinner to be what he is not. It is a truism 
to say that God does not think the sinner to be con- 
sciously and inherently righteous, but he does think 
him to be, because he adjudges him to be, putatively 
and legally righteous. Were the sinner neither, how 
could God, consistently vvith justice and truth, count 
him "as righteous" and treat him as such? This 
overlooked distinction is necessary to the understand- 
ing of the gospel. Further, if God counts the sinner 
as righteous, he must either regard him as inherently 
or as putatively righteous. The former supposition 
is not possible, according to Mr. Wesley's admission 
and to the facts of the case. The latter must, there- 
fore, be true, and the imputed righteousness of 
another is confessed. But as faith is undeniably in- 
herent, faith cannot be that imputed righteousness, 
since the righteousness cannot be inherent in us and 

The Condition of Justification. 527 

another's inipnted to us at the same time. Faith, 
consequently, receives the imputed righteousness, on 
account of which God regards and treats the sinner 
as righteous. Still further, INIr. Wesley, having de- 
clared — what is true — that God "counteth" the be- 
liever "as righteous, adds that God "treats" him 
"as though" he "were guiltless and righteous." In 
these last words he must be understood as meaning 
that God treats the believer as though he were inhe- 
rently guiltless and righteous. This is true; and it 
is equivalent to saying that the believer is not inhe- 
rently guiltless and righteous. God, however, par- 
dons him and treats him as having righteousness. 
Now, either this righteousness is faith or it is not. If 
it is, then as faith is inherent, the believer is accounted 
righteous as having inherent righteousness. But that 
is contrary to the supposition that the believer is not 
inherently righteous. If it is not faith, it must be a 
righteousness which is in no sense inherent. It re- 
mains that it is the imputed righteousness of another, 
even the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which faith 
receives, and on account of which God treats the be- 
liever "as righteous." 

The next writer who shall speak is ^Ir. Fletcher, a 
contemporary of Mr. Wesley and the staunch defender 
of his views. "You confound," says he, "without 
reason, the inherent righteousness of faith with Pha- 
risaic self-righteousness. I have already proved that 
the latter, which is the partial, external, and hypo- 
critical righteousness of unbelieving foruialists, is the 
only righteousness which the prophet compares to 
filthy rags. With respect to the former, that is, our 
own righteousness of faith, far from setting it up in 

528 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianisni. 

opposition to imputed righteousness rightly under- 
stood, we assert that it is the righteousness of God, the 
very thing which 'God imputes to us for righteous- 
ness;' the very righteousness which has now the 
stamp of his approbation, and will one day have the 
crown of his rewards." ^ 

This is sufficiently, it is refreshingly explicit. It 
is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain 
what most Evangelical Arminian theologians mean 
by the phrase "the righteousness of faith." They 
are strenuous in asserting, what no Calvinist denies, 
that faith is imputed for righteousness, since the 
Scriptures affirm this in so many words. But when 
the question is. Is faith this righteousness, or is the 
righteousness which is imputed different from faith 
itself as a righteousness? no definite answer can be 
extracted from their writings : they may mean this, 
they may mean that. But Mr. Fletcher talks in no 
uncertain tones. He definitely asserts that the right- 
eousness of faith is inherent righteousness. He dis- 
criminates this kind of inherent, from another kind 
of inherent righteousness — the righteousness of the 
Pharisee. Generically they both come under the de- 
nomination of inherent righteousness, but specifically 
they are different. Mr. Fletcher is not incorrect in 
supposing that there are different sorts of inherent 
righteousness. There is a good and a bad sort. The 
inherent righteousness produced by the Spirit of God 
in His sanctifying work is a good inherent righteous- 
ness. But that there is a good righteousness of that 
denomination which is in order to the justification of 
a sinner is news to one who reads the Scri})tures, or is 
^ Works, New York, 1849, vol. i, p. 313. 

The Condition of Juslification. 529 

acquainted with tlie facts of consciousness. The dis- 
tinction is valid, because scriptural, between a legal, 
inherent righteousness which cannot avail to justifica- 
tion and an evangelical, inherent righteousness, which 
after justification avails to sanctification ; but there is 
no scriptural ground for a distinction between a legal 
and an evangelical inherent righteousness in order to 
justification. All inherent righteousness previously 
to the justification of a sinner is legal, and is, by the 
apostle Paul, absolutely ruled out from the possibility 
of securing, or in any way conducing to, justification. 
But without further argument upon the point just 
here* let it be noted that Mr. Fletcher clearly, unmis- 
takably makes the righteousness of faith inherent 

Next, he declares in the most positive terms that 
this, "our own," "inherent" righteousness is not to 
be set up in opposition to imputed righteousness ; on. 
the contrary it is imputed righteousness. Here the 
distinction, the Protestant distinction, between an 
inherent righteousness as our own and an imputed 
righteousness as another's, is emphatically denied. 
Our own inherent righteousness is that which God 
imputes to us. The imputation to us of another's 
righteousness is, indeed, everywhere in his writings 
rejected and ridiculed; and as this is done by others 
we are shut up to the conclusion that the catholic 
Evangelical Arminian doctrine is opposed to the dis- 
tinction between inherent righteousness as our^own 
and imputed righteousness as another's, and asserts 
the imputation alone of our own inherent righteous- 
ness, either as real or constructive. 

This is not all. Mr. Fletcher affirms that this in- 

530 Calvinism and Evangelical Aj^minianisni. 

herent righteousness of faith is the righteousness of 
God which is imputed. ^'We assert," he dogmati- 
cally says, "that it is the righteousness of God, the 
very thing which God imputes to us for righteous- 
ness." Mr. Fletcher must be held to his undoubted 
positions. He says that the righteousness of God is 
imputed: "The righteousness of God, the very thing 
which God imputes to us for righteousness." He 
says that the righteousness of faith is the righteous- 
ness of God: "Our own righteousness of faith . . .is 
the righteousness of God." He says that the right- 
eousness of faith is inherent righteousness: "You 
confound the inherent righteousness of faith with 
Pharisaic self- righteousness." The conclusion is un- 
deniable that the righteousness of God imputed is our 
own inherent righteousness of faith. In the discus- 
sion already had of the question. What is the right- 
eousness of God? all the answers which have been 
given were considered, namely: The essential right- 
eousness of God; the rectoral righteousness of God; 
God's method of justifying sinners; faith; the vicarious 
obedience of Christ. Now as even Mr. Fletcher 
would not have contended that God^s essential right- 
eousness, or his rectoral righteousness, or his method 
of justification, or the vicarious obedience of Christ, 
is or can be inherent in us, the only remaining sup- 
position is that the righteousness of God is faith; for 
that is inherent, the only thing that is inherent in all 
these possible cases. It would be idle to attempt a 
distinction between faith itself and the inherent right- 
eousness of faith. If faith be not that righteousness, 
what is the righteousness which is distinct from faith 
and yet belongs to it? It must, according to Fletcher, 

The Condition of Justification. 531 

be an inherent righteonsness; it cannot therefore, be 
God's essential, or his rectoral, righteonsness, or his 
method of jnstification. To call either of them in- 
herent is to speak absnrdly. The righteonsness of 
Christ is of conrse exchided. There is only one other 
conceivable snpposition, and that is so ridicnlous that 
no Arminian, so far as I know, makes it, to wit, that 
the righteousness of faith is God's act of justification. 
There is no other conclusion than that the righteous- 
ness of faith and faith itself are one and the same. 
This is Mr. Fletcher's only possible meaning. The 
righteousness of God is faith imputed to us; and 
against this position the irresistible reductio ad ab- 
surdum ah'eady employed is hurled. It is out of the 
question that faith, as God's righteousness, is revealed 
from faith to faith, is by faith, is through faith. A 
faith which is from, to, by, and through, faith is more 
unspeakable than "the unspeakable Turk." 

The passages in which ]\Ir. Watson speaks most 
expressly to this point are these: "Justification is a 
gratuitous act of God's mercy, a procedure of pure 
'grace,' not of 'debt.' That in order to the exercise 
of this grace, on the part of God, Christ was set forth 
as a propitiation for sin; that his death, under this 
character, is a 'demonstration of the righteousness 
of God' in the free and gratuitous remission of sins; 
and that this actual remission or justification, follows 
upon believing in Christ, because faith, under this 
gracious constitution and method of justification, is 
accounted to men for righteousness; in other words, 
that righteousness is imputed to them upon their be- 
lieving, which imputation of righteousness is, as he 
teaches us, in the passages before quoted, the forgive- 

532 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisni. 

iiess of sins; for to have faith counted or imputed for 
righteousness is explained by David, in the psalm 
which the apostle quotes (Rom. iv.), to have sin for- 
given, covered, and not imputed."^ "From this 
brief, but, it is hoped, clear explanation of these 
terms, righteousness, faith, and imputation, it will 
appear, that it is not quite correct in the advocates of 
the Scripture doctrine of the imputation of faith for 
righteousness, to say, that our faith in Christ is ac- 
cepted in the place of personal obedience to the law, 
except, indeed, in this loose sense, that our faith in 
Christ as effectually exempts us from punishment, as 
if we had been personally obedient. The scriptural 
doctrine is rather, that the death of Christ is accepted 
in the place of our personal punishment, on condition 
of our faith in him; and that when faith in him is 
actually exerted, then comes in, on the part of God, 
the act of imputing, or reckoning righteousness to us; 
or, what is the same thing, accounting faith for right- 
eousness, that is pardoning our offences through faith, 
and treating us as the objects of his restored favor. "'^ 

Mr. Watson's doctrine that faith is the condition 
of pardon, however incomplete in a discussion of just- 
ification, would be very simple and unexceptionable, 
were it not for the critically important and trouble- 
some terms righteousness and irnpntation. But faith 
must be adjusted to the notions expressed by these 
terms, in any adequate consideration of its justifying 

In the first place, ]\Ir. Watson, in explaining the 
phrase faith imputed for righteousness, expressly says: 

^ Theol. Inst., vol. ii, pp. 235, 236. 
* Ibid., p. 242. 

TJie Coiiditioji of Justification. 533 

" Righteousness is imputed to them upon their be- 
lieving, wliich imputation of righteousness is . . . 
the forgiveness of sins." The imputation of right- 
eousness is pardon. There are two obvious and for- 
midable objections to this statement. The first is that 
pardon is the non-imputation of guilt, and to treat it 
formally as imputation is to make imputation and 
non-imputation precisely the same ! The second is, 
that as pardon is the non-imputation of guilt, and 
pardon is said to be the imputation of righteousness, 
the non-imputation of guilt and the imputation of 
righteousness are made exactly the same ! In the 
second place, ]\Ir. Watson's theory evidently accounts 
only for the non-imputation of guilt. He was not 
entitled to the use of the terms imputation of right- 
eousness. They are illegitimately introduced. The 
assumption that justification consists simply in par- 
don has in the foreo-oinof remarks been considered and 
refuted. Although, then, faith is a condition of par- 
don — which, of course, is admitted, so far as the con- 
scious reception of pardon is concerned, though not 
the pardon secured by Christ at the completion of his 
representative work, which is a condition precedent 
to the sinner's conversion and reconciliation to God 
— faith is not thereby shown to be a condition of just- 
ification^ which not only pronounces the sinner par- 
doned but righteous. Are not guiltlessness and 
righteousness different things? We have seen that 
Mr. Wesley perceived and noted the difference be- 
tween them. The truth is that if faith be simply the 
condition of pardon, there is no imputation of right- 
eousness whatsoever, unless the view is maintained 
that the righteousness imputed is faith itself; but this 

534 Calvinism and Evangelical Armiiiianism. 

does not appear to be the view expressed by Mr. Wat- 
son. He contends that the impntation of righteous- 
ness is pardon; and he could scarcely have meant that 
pardon is the imputation of faith as righteousness. 
Still, if faith be not the righteousness imputed, as 
Fletcher contends, then there is no righteousness 
which is imputed, for Mr. Watson denies that Christ's 
righteousness is imputed, and he could not have held 
that the righteousness of God, which he says is God's 
method of justification, is imputed. He was shut up 
then to the alternatives, either of admitting that faith 
is imputed as righteousness, or that no righteousness 
at all is imputed. If the former, he was reduced to 
Fletcher's absurdity of the imputation of inherent 
righteousness for justification, or to the theory of the 
imputation of faith as a quasi righteousness. If the 
latter, he verbally contradicts himself, and really con- 
tradicts Scripture. 

Dr. Pope's general doctrine on this subject it passes 
my ability to bring into consistency with itself, but 
he has this special utterance which may be considered 
as sufficently indicating his position; "Faith is not 
righteousness, as justifying: it is coiuited for right- 
eousness. It \s put to the account of man in the medi- 
atorial court as righteousness; not as a good work, 
but reckoned instead of the good works which it re- 
nounces."^ All that it is necessary particularly to 
notice is that Dr. Pope's view is distinctly that while 
faith is not itself a justifying righteousness, it is ac- 
counted, imputed as righteousness, in the stead of a 
legal righteousness which would be competent to 
justify. It is not Christ's righteousness which is im- 
^ Comp. Chris. ThcoL, vol. ii, p. 412. 

The Condition of Justification. 535 

puted. Faitli is iinpnted in lieu of riohteousiiess. lu 
this he differs with Fletcher, at least nominally, as the 
latter boldly maintained that faith is righteousness. 
We shall see that while Fletcher's view is contradic- 
tory to Scripture, Pope's contradicts common sense 
and Scripture alike. One makes faith an inherent 
righteousness, the other makes it an inherent noth- 
ing: it is a substitute for inherent righteousness, but 
not itself an inherent righteousness. 

Dr. Raymond's view of the nature and office of 
faith may be collected from the following passages: 
"The above will suffice to show in what sense the 
Protestant doctrine of justification by faith only, is 
both rational and Scriptural. Faith is said to be that 
condition of justification, or the pardon of sin, which, 
if a man have, no matter what else he is destitute of, 
he can not be lost, and without which, whatever else 
he may have, he can not be saved. Though faith be 
that only, and that alone, that justifies, it is not soli- 
tary and arbitrary ; it is that which, in the nature of 
the case, is essential, as meeting an indispensable re- 
quirement, and is, in itself, such as secures, atone- 
ment having been made, all the remaining interests 
involved. It is not a mere speculative belief in the 
doctrines of Christianity. It is confidence in Christ, 
as the Son of God and Saviour of men. It is a state 
of mind, which naturally, intuitively assimilates the 
believer to the Spirit of Christ, adopts his sentiments, 
co-operates with his plans, takes him as a leader and 
guide. Faith in Christ is a voluntary act, by which 
Christ is accepted as prophet, priest and king. The 
moment, therefore, a man exercises this confidence in 
Christ, he is a saved man. This is itself the .spirit 

536 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

of loyalty ; it is in harmony with law ; it seeks the 
ends of government; it approves, admires the right- 
eousness of God ; in it rebellion against God dies. 
The carnal mind, at enmity with God, and not sub- 
ject to His law, is put away, is displaced by its oppo- 
site ; faith is the spirit of filial obedience. It implies 
repentance, sorrow on account of sin, together with a 
turning from sin ; it brings forth fruits meet for re- 
pentance. It implies, further, a purpose of righteous- 
ness." After acknowledorincr that faith "considered 
as a volitionating power, is the gift of God," he goes 
on to say: "But the exercise of man's God-given 
powers is with the man himself, and is made within 
limits subject to his own free choice. God no more 
believes for a man than he breathes and eats, walks 
and works, for him ; faith, as a power to believe, is 
the gift of God ; believing, the exercise of faith, is 
the act of man.^ This act he must put forth or be 
damned ; if he put it forth, he will be saved ; he can 
not be lost while believino- in Christ. If anv choose 


to call that act of faith w^orks, we shall not contend ; 
if they still affirm that, in asserting that this faith is 
an act of the human will, we teach the doctrine of 
salvation by works, very well ; w^e care not by what 
name it is called ; we abide the affirmative of tlie 
doctrine that a man's eternal destiny is dependent 
upon a somewhat which he himself may do or leave 
imdone [n. b.], and that somewhat is called, in the 
Bible, faith. To those to wdioui the Gospel is 
preached, it is a cordial confiding in Jesus Christ as 
the Son of God and Saviour of men ; to those who 

^ The same distinction, put forth by Dr. Whedon, was considered 
somewhat at length in the preceding discussion on Election, etc. 

The Condition of Justification. 537 

have not heard the gospel, it is the same faith in the 
form of a filial trust in the mercy of God ; or, as it 
has been designated, ' the spirit of faith with the pur- 
pose of righteousness.' " ^ 

When the question is, What is the condition of 
justification? Dr. Raymond answers with all Protest- 
ants, It is faith alone. But when the question is, 
How is faith this condition? he replies, in substance, 
that it is especially adapted to this office, because it 
assures the rectitude of God in the administration of 
redemption. Why? Not because it accepts and rests 
upon the obedience of Christ imputed, by which just- 
ice has been satisfied, the law magnified and God's 
government vindicated and sustained: he scouts the 
notion of the imputed righteousness of Christ as the 
substitute of sinners. Not because faith in Christ as 
a justifying Saviour is in order to the impartation of 
the sanctifying grace of the Spirit, the author and 
determiner of all holiness. W^hy, then? Because 
faith contains within itself the seeds of every Chris- 
tian virtue, the germs of all inherent righteousness 
or holiness. It is this aptitude, intrinsic to itself, to 
secure and promote the moral interests of God's gov- 
ernment that adapts it to be the condition of justifi- 
cation. He does not say, with Fletcher, it is inherent 
righteousness, but he maintains that it is the seed or 
germ from which inherent righteousness is developed. 
The difference is in degree, not in kind. Faith is in- 
choate holiness from which all holiness springs; un- 
less it breaks its neck after its first bound towards 
development, when the bright dawn of incipient grace 
expires in the darkness of nature's night, and the de- 
^Syst. riieol., vol. ii. pp. 331, 332, m, 336. 

538 Calvinism and Evangelical Arrninianism. 

velopment becomes what the Frenchman pronounced 
it, with the accent on the first syllable. This view 
of the mode in which faith discharo^es its office as a 
condition of justification is supported by a distinction 
between the power to believe which is confessed to be 
the gift of God and the act of believing which is en- 
tirely man's, an act which he may or may not perform. 
If he perform it, it is a righteous exercise of his own 
" volitionating" power. It follows that man practi- 
cally determines his justification. The merits of 
Christ afford him the opportunity of justifying him- 
self Upon this supposition justification cannot be 
purely of grace, and it is no w^onder that Dr. Ray- 
mond coolly says, that if this is supposed to teach 
salvation by works, he will not contend: it is very 
well. The apostle Paul says to the Philippians: 
"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not 
only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake." 
No, intimates Dr. Raymond, it is not given to us to 
believe, only the power to believe is given. Paul 
says: ''It is God which worketh in you,, both to will, 
and to do, of his good pleasure." God works in you 
to will, declares Paul. Oh, no, suggests Dr. Ray- 
mond, God works in you the power of willing, but 
not to will: the volitionating is yours. But Paul says, 
God worketh in you to do. On the other hand. Dr. 
Raymond says that to do, to act. belongs to man, not 
to God. God cannot believe in Christ. Mighty dis- 
tinction ! It overthrows the doctrine of an apostle, 
and establishes the sovereignty of the sinner's will. 
God says He will raise the dead at the last day. But 
God will not rise from the dead: man will rise; there- 
fore God cannot raise the dead. Yes, God will give 

The Condition of Justification. 539 

the power to rise, but the dead body must exercise it; 
and so having the power, it will of itself lift the earth 
or the marble and emerge from the grave ! Christ 
says He wuU raise the spiritually dead soul. But 
Christ will not rise from spiritual death. The soul 
must rise. Therefore Christ cannot raise the dead 
soul. Ay, but Christ gives the power to rise and the 
soul exercises it. And so the sinner having the power 
of regeneration regenerates himself. God furnishes 
the ground of justification in the obedience unto death 
of his Son; he gives the sinner the power to place 
liimself on that ground; but he cannot put the sinner 
there: he cannot determine the sinner's will to be- 
lieve. He may "yearn over" the unwilling soul, he 
may long for its salvation; but he cannot save it. 
Why is this denied to almighty power and infinite 
love? Because God does not need to be saved and 
cannot exercise faith ! God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, 
the atoning Blood — all depend for efficacy upon the 
sinner's volitionating act ! 

Having endeavored to gather from the statement 
of Evangelical Arminian theologians of repute what 
is their doctrine in regard to the nature and office of 
Justifying Faith, the way is open to sum up the re- 
sults, and to subject them to a final examination. 

They are professedly agreed in holding that faith is 
the sole condition of justification. It is not, however, 
to be supposed that this is the same as to assert, wnth 
the body of Protestants, that faith is simply the in- 
strument, and nothing more, by which a justifying 
righteousness is received and relied upon. True, it 
is maintained that faith is the sole condition or in- 
strumental cause of justification, but if tlie question 

540 Calvinism and Evangelical Arniinianisin. 

be, whether faith discharges this office merely and 
solely as it is faith, as it is simply assent and trust, or 
whether, as justifying, it involves in it or carries 
along with it some elements which are not, strictly 
speaking, of the very nature of faith, — the answers 
to these questions by the Evangelical Arminian the- 
ology are indistinct if not positively inaccurate. In 
the first place, there is a confusion of the condition 
of faith with the condition of justification. Convic- 
tion of sin and misery^ is ordinarily a condition pre- 
cedent to faith, but it is in no sense or degree an in- 
strument whereby Christ is received and rested upon. 
It does not enter into or qualify the instrumental office 
of faith. In the second place, a quality of inherent 
righteousness is represented as entering into faith, 
adapting it to secure the moral interests of the di- 
vine government. Faith, as justifying, is not mida 
fides — naked, simple, mere faith. But if it be not, 
it is not suited to be, what justification requires, a 
bare receiver of Christ. To the extent to which, as 
justifying, it embraces or exhibits any extraneous 
quality, to that extent Christ is displaced. Holiness 
is in its place indispensable, but faith, so far as it is 
the instrument of justification, has nothing to do with 
it ; it has no eye, no ear for anything but a justifying 
Saviour: it reaches out both empty palms to him. 
The dread of Antinomianism, real or imaginary — and 
the imaginary is the Calvinistic Federal Theology — 
generates a wisdom superior to God's, a concern for 
righteousness more conservative than his, and clamors 
for a little infusion of ethics into faith, for fear a 

*Tbis is erroneously and absurdly termed Repentance bj^ Ar- 
minian theologians. 

The Condition of Justification. 541 

simple reliance upon Christ and His righteousness for 
justification might prejudice sanctification and dam- 
age the interests of holiness.^ 

The witnesses disagree, to some extent, in respect 
to the nature of justifying faith, and the imputation 
of it for righteousness. Mr. Fletcher explicitly, and 
Dr. Raymond implicitly, maintain that it is our own 
inherent, though evangelical, righteousness. Mr. 
Wesley and Dr. Pope hold that it is accepted instead 
of a perfect righteousness, and Mr. Watson is iii sub- 
stantial agreement with them on this point. For 
although, as we have seen, he pronounces this view 
"not quite correct," yet he says in connection with 
that mild stricture: ''Except, indeed, in this loose 
sense, that our faith in Christ as effectually exempts 
us from punishment, as if we had been personally 
obedient." One can detect no substantial difference 
between the affirmations: faith is accepted in the 
place of personal obedience ; faith is accepted as if 
we had produced personal obedience. They are ob- 
viously tantamount to the same thing. I shall not 
undertake to decide which of these views, that of 
T^Ir. Fletcher and Dr. Raymond on the one hand, or 
that of :\Ir. Wesley, Mr. Watson and Dr. Pope on the 
other, is the received doctrine of Evangelical Armin- 
ianism ; nor will they be examined in detail beyond 
what has already been done. They are alike exclu- 
sive of the truth of God touching the imputation of 
the righteousness of Christ, and the simple instru- 
mentality of faith in receiving that righteousn ess^ 

1 vSee an extract from a sermon of Mr. Wesley quoted by Wat- 
son, Thcol. Inst., vol. ii, p. 225; Ibid., pp. loi, 213, 214, 250; and 
Raymond's Syst. Theol., vol. ii, pp. 327-332, 335, 336. 

542 CaLviJiism and Evaitgelical Anninianism. 

and the arguments which will be used will be directed 
against them both. 

(i.) The Evangelical Arminian theology illegiti- 
mately distinguishes between the Ground and the 
Matter of justification ; or, in other words, it unwar- 
rantably splits into two parts the one Material Cause 
of justification. The efficient cause of anything is 
that by which it is produced ; the material cause, that 
out of which, on the ground of w^hich, on account of 
which, it is produced ; the instrumental cause, that 
through wdiich, by means of which, it is produced ; 
the formal cause, the thing itself so and so formed 
and configured, and contra-distinguishing it to other 
things, if physical made out of the same material, if 
moral or intellectual belonmncy to the same o-eneral 
kind ; the final cause, the end for which it is pro- 
duced. The efficient cause of the table on which this 
writing is done is the workman's skill, that produced 
it ; the material cause, the wood out of which it w^as 
constructed, that grounded its construction ; the in- 
strumental cause, the implements through which, 
by means of which, it was constructed ; the formal 
cause, the table itself so and so formed and con- 
figured, distinguishing it from other articles of furni- 
ture made out of the same material ; the final cause, 
the end for which it was produced, say, that it might 
be used for writing. These causes, founded in an an- 
alysis for the most part as old as the gigantic intellect 
of Aristotle, and perfected by the intelligence of sub- 
sequent ages, are not to be sneered at as abstruse and 
scholastic. Their value has been tested by many a 
thinker, as he struggled to find his way through the 
confounding intricacies of a difficult and perplexing 

The Condition of Jiistificatiou. 543 

subject. They play havoc witli in_2^eiiions but sophis- 
tical speculations, and with brilliant but illoL^ical 
declamation: they are the Lapis Lydiiis of reasoning. 
The thinker who is acquainted with them knows 
their utility, and he who is ignorant of them uncon- 
sciously employs them to the extent to which he 
thinks at all. 

In applying these causes to justification, the Cal- 
vinist holds, that its efficient cause is the free grace 
of God — it is that by which it is produced, or, what 
is the same, that which produces it; its material 
cause is the righteousness out of which, on account 
of which, on the ground of which, it is produced, and 
as one's own inherent righteousness is out of the 
question, it is the imputed righteousness of another, 
even Jesus Christ the Righteous, the Lord our Right- 
eousness; its instrumental cause is faith — it is that 
through which, by means of which, it is produced, 
that which simply receives and relies upon the justi- 
fying righteousness of Christ; its formal cause is jus- 
tification by the imputation of another's righteous- 
ness, as contradistinguished to other kinds of justifi- 
cation proceeding upon the imputation of one's own, 
inherent righteousness; its final cause is, proximately, 
the salvation of the sinner, ultimately, the glory of 
God's grace. It will be perceived that the Calvinist 
makes no unphilosophical, no untenable distinction 
between the ground, and the matter, of justification. 
They are regarded as one and the same. It is the 
same thing to say that Christ's righteousness is the 
ground, and that it is the matter, of justification. 
That righteousness is its material cause. The ma- 
terial cause is one; it cannot be divided into two 

544 Calvinism and Evangelical Anninianism. 

parts, the ground and the matter. Nor can there be 
two material causes of justification, one the right- 
eousness of Christ, the other the faith of the sinner 
as righteousness. If the material cause is Christ's 
righteousness, it cannot be faith as the sinner's right- 
eousness, or faith in any aspect; if it be faith, it can- 
not be Christ's righteousness. It must be either one 
or the other, not both, not one in one respect, and the 
other in another. 

The Arminian, if asked, what is the ground of 
justification ? answers. The righteousness of Christ. 
Well, then, Christ's righteousness is the righteousness 
that justifies, that out of which justification is pro- 
duced. No. If asked, What is it that justifies? he 
replies. The righteousness of faith, or faith accepted 
as righteousness. This, then, is that out of which 
justification is produced. Faith either as righteous- 
ness or accepted instead of righteousness is the matter 
of justification. Faith as the matter is distinguished 
from the righteousness which is confessed to be the 
ground. There are, consequently, either two material 
causes of justification, or one and the same material 
cause is split into two parts, and these two parts are 
intrinsically different — as different as the righteous- 
ness of another and one's own subjective quality or 
conscious act. The Arminian's distinction is un- 
tenable. If Christ's rio:hteousness is the o^round of 
justification — and that is admitted — it is also its 
matter, the righteousness out of which it is produced. 
It may be asked. Where is the difficulty of supposing 
two material causes concurring to the production of 
justification? There might be, for example, two 
kinds of wood used in the construction of this table. 

The Condition of Justification. 545 

The answer is, that how many soever may be the 
materials, or, to speak more broadly, the sorts of 
matter, which go to prodnce anything, physical, in- 
tellectnal or moral, their nnion constitntes its one 
gronnd or matter — its material canse; and the Ar- 
minian wonld violate his own doctrine if he held 
that faith enters into the gronnd of jnstification. 
Even were it snpposable that there might be two 
material canses, they wonld jointly be the gronnd. 
If, then, the obedience of Christ be one material 
canse of jnstification and faith another, the difificnlty 
wonld be presented of mingling faith with the merit 
of Christ to constitute the gronnd of jnstification — a 
result which the Evangelical Arminian could not 

If this view be correct, it is evident that the Armin- 
ian theology not only makes an illegitimate distinc- 
tion between the Ground and the Matter, but also 
unjustifiably confounds the Material Cause, and the 
Instrumental Cause, of justification. Faith is admit- 
ted to be the instrumental cause, but if, as has been 
shown, it is held to be the thing itself which justifies, 
either as a righteousness, or accepted as if it were a 
righteousness and judged to discharge its office, it is 
held to be the matter — in some sense the material 
cause — of justification; hence the material and instru- 
mental causes are obviously confounded. 

(2.) Either, faith is a real, substantive righteous- 
ness; or, it is an unreal, constructive righteousness, 
treated as though it were a real, substantive right- 
eousness, and accepted in its place; or, it is no right- 
eousness at all, but simply receives and rests upon a 
righteousness. The first view is that of some Evau- 

54^ Calmnism and Evangelical Arininia^tisui. 

gelical Arminian writers; the second is that main- 
tained by others, following Wesley, and is the one 
usually accredited to the Evangelical Arminian the- 
ology; the third is that held by Calvinists. Let us 
consider them in the order in which they have been 

First, Is faith a real, substantive righteousness, im- 
puted to us in order to justification ? The theologians 
who hold this view are acquitted of claiming that it is 
a legal righteousness: they claim that it is not legal, 
but evangelical. The view, however stated, cannot 
be sustained. 

In the first place, it is opposed to the very nature of 
faith, as justifying. The Evangelical iVrminian the- 
ologians contend that faith, as justifying, is an act. 
When it is performed the believer is immediately just- 
ified. But it is clear that as an act expires upon its 
performance, it cannot be a righteousness. It may 
be a righteous act, but the act is not a righteousness, 
which not only supposes a series of acts, but a series 
of works, each of them composed of acts. Further, 
faith, from its very nature, has no intrinsic excellence. 
Its excellence is derived from the object to which it is 
related, and as that object, so far as justification is 
concerned, is admitted by Evangelical Arminian 
divines to be Christ, faith borrows its beauty and 
glory from him. But that which has no intrinsic ex- 
cellence or virtue, which possesses only a relative 
value, cannot with propriety be represented as a right- 
eousness. To these considerations it must be added 
that faith involves a confession of unworthiness, of 
impotence, of nothingness. It flees to Christ, it lays 
hold on him, it depends upon him. It is the veri- 

The Condition of Justijication. 547 

est of parasites. Detached from Christ, like a vine 
stripped from the tree to which it clings, it collapses 
and ceases to live. 

In the second place, even were it supposed to be a 
rig-hteousness, it would be necessarily an imperfect 
righteousness ; and it must be acknowledged that a 
righteousness to be justifying behooves to be perfect. 
It is no answer to this to say that although in itself 
imperfect it relies upon the perfect righteousness of 
Christ. That would be to postulate two justifying 
righteousnesses, one perfect, the other imperfect; and 
three absurdities would emerge : the first, more than 
one justifying righteousness when one is enough ; the 
second, the superfluity of an imperfect justifying 
righteousness in addition to a perfect ; the third, an 
inconceivable reliance of one righteousness upon an- 
other righteousness for justification ! 

In the third place, no inherent righteousness can 
possibly be imputed to us in order to justification. 
Certainly no inherent legal righteousness can be so 
imputed, if the Scriptures are received as authority; 
and no evangelical righteousness can exist previously 
to justification, for such a righteousness is, from the 
nature of the, sanctifying, and it will not be 
contended that a sanctifying righteousness is in order 
to justification. If it be urged that there may be an 
evangelical righteousness which is not sanctifying, it 
must be admitted that it exists before justification ; 
for if it existed after it, it would be sanctifying, 
which is contrary to the supposition. Now, it is suf- 
ficient to say in answer to this that the Evangelical 
Arminian theology expressly confesses that works 
done before justification have no value for justifica- 

54S Cali'inisin and Evangelical Armijiianism. 

tioii. This inherent righteousness, therefore, which 
it is claimed is imputed to us in order to justification 
must at the same time, if consistency is observed, be 
acknowledged to have no value for justification. A 
contradiction ensues. Between the contradictories 
who can hesitate to elect that which asserts the 
w^orthlessness of all inherent righteousness, of all 
works, of all acts, of an inherent denomination ex- 
isting before justification? The theory is a paradox. 
It not only gainsays Scripture, but traverses the 
Evangelical Arminian theology itself. Every right- 
eousness must consist of works : righteousness with- 
out works is a solecism. These works are either the 
fruits of sanctification or not. If they are, they are 
evangelical and not legal. If they are not, they are 
legal and not evangelical. This righteousness in 
question consists of works which are not fruits of 
sanctification. It consists, therefore, of legal works ; 
and no legal work can conduce to justification. That 
the advocate of this theory should urge that faith is 
not a legal work avails nothing. He makes it a legal 
work by making it a righteousness. Of course faith 
is not legal, in fact ; it is the very opposite of works, 
but it is legal in his theory, and that destroys the 
theory. I affirm that it is not legal, he replies. So 
you do, it is rejoined, but you affirm that it is inher- 
ent righteousness conducing to justification ; it is 
therefore legal. You affirm that it is and is not 
legal, in the same breath. ]\Iean while the truth is 
that it is no righteousness. It merely receives a 
righteousness wrought by another and imputed for 

In the fourth place, an argument employed by 

TJie Condition of Justification. 549 

John Owen on this point is decisive. "Faith," he 
observes, "as we said before, is our own; and that 
which is our own may be imputed unto us. But tlie 
discourse of the apostle is about that which is not 
our own antecedently unto imputation, but is made 
ours thereby, as we have proved ; for it is of grace. 
And the imputation unto us of what is really our own 
antecedently unto that imputation, is not of grace, in 
the sense of the apostle ; for what is so imputed is im- 
puted for what it is, and nothing else. For that im- 
putation is but the judgment of God concerning the 
thing imputed, with respect unto them whose it is."* 
The thought suggested by this testimony of the ven- 
erable Puritan which it is now intended to emphasize 
is, that if faith, as a justifying righteousness, is im- 
puted to us, the imputation is made by justice, not by 
grace. For it is just, not gracious, to impute to us 
what is our own. The imputation of righteousness 
is manifestly referred to justice and not to grace ; and 
this is contrary to the specific declarations of the 
Scriptures and to the whole genius of the gospel. 

An effort may be made to blunt the edge of this 
consideration in two w^ays. It may be urged, that 
faith is the gift of grace, and therefore its righteous- 
ness is imputed to us as a gracious and not a legal 
righteousness. This is the plea of the Pharisee and 
the Romanist. The former thanks God for his right- 
eousness. Grace produced it, but produced it in him. 
It was therefore his righteousness, and was pro- 
nounced by our Lord not justifying. The latter ad- 
mits the merit of Christ, admits the grace of the 
Spirit, procured by that merit, as enabling him to be 
^ Works, vol. V, p. 319, Goold's Ed., On Justification. 

550 Calvi7iis77i and Evangelical Arniinianisnt. 

righteous. It was the position of Adam, had he 
been justified. His righteousness would have been 
wrought in the strength of grace, but would notwith- 
standing have been imputed to him as his own, legal 
righteousness. A righteousness receives its denomi- 
nation not from the source in which it originates, but 
from the end which it contemplates.^ Again, it may 
be urged, that while faith is imputed as righteous- 
ness, it is not the ground of justification, but relies 
on Christ's righteousness as the ground. This hy- 
pothesis of two righteousnesses, one the ground, the 
other the matter, of justification, and the absurd 
notion of one righteousness relying on another right- 
eousness, have already been disposed of. 

The testimony of Paul to the Philippians is deci- 
sive, and that shall be allowed to give the finishing 
stroke to this Semi-Pelagian hypothesis. He declares 
that he counted all things but loss, that he might win 
Christ, and be found in him, not having his own 
tigJiteoiisness. The abettor of this view says, I have 
my own righteousness. Then you contradict Paul, 
says the Calvinist. No, answers the Arminian, 
Paul says that the righteousness he did not have "is 
of the law," but the righteousness which I have, and 
which he had, is faith. Hear Paul further, rejoins 
the Calvinist : He declares that the righteousness he 
did have is that which is through the faith of Christ, 
the righteousness which is of God by faith. Cer- 
tainly faith cannot be through faith and by faith. 
The righteousness which Paul says he did not have is 
the inherent righteousness which you sa}- you have, 

^ See Thonnvell's masterly discussion of the point in his \'alid- 
ity of the Baptism of Rome, Coll. Writ., vol. iii, p. 352, ff. 

The Condition of Jiistijication. 551 

and the righteousness which he says he would have is 
the imputed righteousness of Christ which comes 
through faith, the very same which you say you 
would not have. Thus does an inspired apostle in- 
flict upon this theory of inherent righteousness a lit- 
eral coup de grace. 

Secondly, Is faith an unreal, constructive right- 
eousness, treated as if it were a real, substantive 
righteousness, and accepted in its stead? No injust- 
ice is done by this statement of the question. For, 
if faith is regarded as if it were righteousness, and 
accepted in the ^/^^^^^ ^ righteousness, it is an unreal, 
constructive righteousness. The view is labelled 
precisely according to its import. 

This doctrine involves the rejection of a great and 
fundamental principle of the divine government. It 
is that, in order to justification, one must have, must 
himself possess, a perfect righteousness of works 
which satisfies the demands of justice' and law, and 
is pleadable before the bar of God: either one which 
is his because he consciously produced it, or one pro- 
duced by another, as his substitute, which is made 
his by imputation. The possibility of the sinner's 
possessing such a righteousness consciously produced 
by himself is denied alike by the Arminian and the 
Calvinist. The possibility of his possessing one pro- 
duced by another as his representative, and made his 
by imputation, is denied by the Arminian and affirmed 
by the Calvinist. They both insist upon the necessity 
of a savinsr connection between the sinner and the 
meritorious obedience of Christ, but differ as to the 
mode in which the connection is realized. The 
Arminian contends that it is enough that Christ 

552 Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism. 

should have vicariously acted iu behalf of the face in 
general, and that the sinner should by faith rely upon 
him. The Calvinist replies that this is not enough; 
that upon this theory Christ is not the Substitute of 
any individual man, and that it is impossible that 
faith alone should effect such a relation of the sinner 
to Christ as to make the righteousness of Christ 
pleadable by him in the divine court; and further, 
that it is utterly inadmissible to consider the mere 
pardon conditioned by faith, and that a losable par- 
don, as being justification. He maintains that there 
is needed a legal procedure on God's part, over and 
beyond the sinner's faith, to constitute the righteous- 
ness of Christ the sinner's righteousness in law, to 
pass over its merit to his account, and to reckon it to 
him as his, and that this is accomplished by judicial 
imputatiou, based upon the great principle of federal 
representation. He asks. Where, upon the Arminian 
theory, is there any legal union between the sinner 
and Clirist, which would warrant even acquittal of 
guilt, consistently with the demands of justice and 
law? The Arminian himself acknowledges that par- 
don is not dispensed by virtue of the arbitrary pre- 
rogative of a Sovereign. Mr. Watson elaborately 
proves this. ' There must be substitution. But sub- 
stitution necessarily supposes a legal unity between 
the original transg^ressor and the substitute. Faith 
itself cannot possibly achieve that result, particularly 
a faith which, accordiug to tlie Arminiau, precedes 
regeneration, and "must," as Dr. Pope says, "be 
distinguished from the grace of faith which is one 
of the fruits of the regenerating Spirit."' This, 

^ Inst., Vol. ii., pp. 94, 213. 

2 Coinp. Chris. Theol., vol. ii, p. 376. 

The Condition of Justification. 553 

urges the Calvinist, is to make the faith of the uii- 
reg-enerate man the sole factor of union with Christ 
in tlie moment of justification; for, in the order of 
thought^ faith as justifying is made to precede the 
regenerating act of the Holy Spirit which spiritually 
unites the soul with Christ; and it follows that at the 
moment of justification there is neither legal nor 
spiritual union with Christ. There is only such con- 
nection as faith accomplishes. The soul does not 
grow up a livung stone out of the foundation, but 
simply lies down upon it; and no wonder it is liable 
to be thrown from it by the shocks of inward temp- 
tation and of Satanic rage. 

In nothing, except in its assertion of the supremacy 
of the sinner's will in the matter of practical salva- 
tion, and its consequent rejection of the sovereignty 
of God's electing grace, is the Arminian theology 
more conspicuously defective than in its denial of the 
great principle, that God requires in the sinner, in or- 
der to justification, the possession of a real, substantive, 
perfect righteousness of works. The question, then, 
is. Does God require of the believing sinner the pos- 
session of no real righteousness in order to justifica- 
tion? or, Does he require of him the possession of a 
real, though vicarious and imputed righteousness, to 
that end? The latter is t